“Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.” – Salman Rushdie

I came across this quote last weekend while reading a book about the craft of writing. It struck a nerve with me, I think because I found it similar to this quote from the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It’s not always clear why.” – Mr. Ollivander


I’ve always believed that writing is a form of magic, and linking these two quotes led me to believe I was right. However, on closer examination, the quotes don’t correlate perfectly. Here’s why: books are the ultimate output of the author’s “magic” – a wand is a tool wizards use to channel and focus their magical power.

Even if the quotes don’t match up exactly, it’s still thrilling to think that writers and their stories share a special relationship, similar to the one the wizards of Harry Potter’s world have with their wands.


photo credit: Lisa Appignanesi – Salman Rushdie’s honour via photopin (license)