I ask if stories are empires, you’ll say—
‘Stories are people. I’m a story, you’re a story . . . your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we’re lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we’re less alone.’
‘But you never answered the question,” Pasquale said. “Why you come here.’
Bender pondered the wine in his hand. ‘A writer needs four things to achieve greatness, Pasquale: desire, disappointment, and the sea.’
‘That’s only three.’
Alvis finished his wine. ‘You have to do disappointment twice.’
That’s from Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter. My son sent me the quote via email. I immediately bought the book.