If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.
In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me
Don't forget this, too: Rumors aren't interested in the unsensational story; rumors don't care what's true.
It doesn't really matter who said it - it's so obviously true. Bevore you can write anything, you have to notice something.
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
When (The World According To) Garp was published, people who’d lost children wrote to me. ‘’I lost one, too,’’ they told me. I confessed to them that I hadn’t lost any children. I’m just a father with a good imagination. In my imagination, I lose my children every day. (afterword)
Many things the gods achieve beyond our judgement,' said the sorrowful girl. 'What we thought is not confirmed and what we thought not God contives.
A person's faith goes at its own pace. The trouble with church is the service. A service is conducted for a mass audience. Just when I start to like the hymn, everyone plops down to pray. Just when I start to hear the prayer, everyone pops up to sing. And what does the stupid sermon have to do with God? Who knows what God thinks of current events? Who cares?
The time to read Madame Bovary is when your romantic hopes and desires have crashed, and you will believe that your future relationships will have disappointing - even devastating - consequences.
Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn’t know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn’t know he was a novelist ei
In a school community, someone who reads a book for some secretive purpose, other than discussing it, is strange. What was she reading for?
It’s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can’t interfere with people you love any more than you’re supposed to interfere with people you don’t even know. And that’s hard. Because you often feel like interfering—you want to be the one who makes the plans. . . You can’t protect people, kiddo, all you can do is love them.
IT (The country) IS HEADED TOWARD OVERSIMPLIFICATION. YOU WANT TO SEE A PRESIDENT OF THE FUTURE? TURN ON ANY TELEVISION ON ANY SUNDAY MORNING - FIND ONE OF THOSE HOLY ROLLERS: THAT'S HIM, THAT'S THE NEW MISTER PRESIDENT! AND DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE FUTURE OF ALL THOSE KIDS WHO ARE GOING TO FALL IN THE CRACKS OF THIS GREAT, BIG, SLOPPY SOCIETY OF OURS? I JUST MET HIM; HE'S A TALL, SKINNY, FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY NAMED DICK. HE'S PRETTY SCARY. WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM IS NOT UNLIKE WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE TV EVANGELIST - OUR FUTURE PRESIDENT. WHAT'S WRONG WITH BOTH OF THEM IS THAT THEY'RE SO SURE THEY'RE RIGHT! THAT'S PRETTY SCARY - THE FUTURE, I THINK, IS PRETTY SCARY.
Here is the trap you are in.... And it's not my trap—I haven't trapped you. Because abortions are illegal, women who need and want them have no choice in the matter, and you—because you know how to perform them—have no choice, either. What has been violated here is your freedom of choice, and every woman's freedom of choice, too. If abortion was legal, a woman would have a choice—and so would you. You could feel free not to do it because someone else would. But the way it is, you're trapped. Women are trapped. Women are victims, and so are you.
People are like that .... They need to make their own worst experiences universal. It gives them a kind of support.’ And who can blame them? It is just infuriating to argue with someone like that; because of an experience that has denied them their humanity, they go around denying another kind of humanity in others, which is the truth of human variety -- it stands alongside our sameness.
The way you remember or dream about your loved ones - the ones who are gone - you can't stop their endings from jumping ahead of the rest of their stories. You don't get to choose the chronology of what you dream, or the order of events in which you remember someone. In your mind - in your dreams, in your memories - sometimes the story begins with the epilogue.
THAT'S WHAT POWERFUL MEN DO TO THIS COUNTRY - IT'S A BEAUTIFUL, SEXY, BREATHLESS COUNTRY, AND POWERFUL MEN USE IT TO TREAT THEMSELVES TO A THRILL! THEY SAY THEY LOVE IT BUT THEY DON'T MEAN IT. THEY SAY THINGS TO MAKE THEMSELVES APPEAR GOOD - THEY MAKE THEMSELVES APPEAR MORAL...THE COUNTRY WANTS A SAVIOUR. THE COUNTRY IS A SUCKER FOR POWERFUL MEN WHO LOOK GOOD. WE THINK THEY'RE MORALISTS AND THEN THEY JUST USE US.
WHAT I'M TELLING YOU IS, IF YOU WANT TO DO THINGS YOUR OWN WAY, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION - YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND A LITTLE COURAGE.
This was not of the nature of a Christlike lesson for Owen Meany to learn, as he lay in the manger, that someone you hate can give you a hard-on.
It galls me that seeking out the seedy, the sordid, the sexual, and the deviant is the expected (if not altogether acceptable) behavior of male writers; it would surely benefit me, as a writer, if I had the courage to seek out more of the seedy, the sordid, the sexual, and the deviant myself. But women who seek out such things are made to feel ashamed, or else they sound stridently ridiculous in defending themselves -- as if they're bragging. ... Yet there are subjects that remain off-limits for women writers. It's not unlike that dichotomy which exists regarding one's sexual past: it is permissible, even attractive, for a man to have had one, but if a woman has had a sexual past, she'd better keep quiet about it.
The arrangements that couples make in order to maintain civility in the midst of their journey to divorce are often most elaborate when the professed top priority is to protect a child.
It was one of those ridiculous arrangements that couples make when they are separating, but before they are divorced - when they still imagine that children and property can be shared with more magnanimity than recrimination.
She felt if she ever had children she would love them no less when they were twenty than when they were two; they might need you more at twenty, she thought. What do you really need when you're two? In the hospital, the babies were the easiest patients. The older they got, the more they needed; and the less anyone wanted or loved them.
This mannerism of what he'd seen of society struck Homer Wells quite forcefully; people, even nice people—because, surely, Wally was nice—would say a host of critical things about someone to whom they would then be perfectly pleasant. At. St. Cloud's, criticism was plainer—and harder, if not impossible, to conceal.
What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.
If you're a writer, the problem is that, when you try to call a halt to thinking about your novel-in-progress, your imagination still keeps going; you can't shut it off.
You can learn a lot from your lovers, but-for the most part-you get to keep your friends longer, and you learn more from them.
Ever since the Christmas of '53, I have felt that the yuletide is a special hell for those families who have suffered any loss or who must admit to any imperfection; the so-called spirit of giving can be as greedy as receiving--Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who's not home.
In Ruth's view, they looked 'like a couple' because they seemed to possess some terrible secret between them - they appeared stricken with remorse when they saw her. Only a novelist could ever imagine such nonsense. (In part, it was because of her perverse ability to imagine anything that in this instance Ruth failed to imagine the obvious)