ZORA NEALE HURSTON 01/07
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Chapter 1, pg. 2
These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
ALICE WALKER 02/09
The Color Purple, Part 3, pg. 124
Oh, Celie, there are colored people in the world who want us to know! Want us to grow and see the light! They are not all mean like Pa and Albert, or beaten down like ma was. Corrine and Samuel have a wonderful marriage. Their only sorrow in the beginning was that they could not have children. And then, they say, ‘God’ sent them Olivia and Adam.
AMY TAN 02/19
The Joy Luck Club, Chapter 1, pg. 21
Over the years, she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine.
TONI MORRISON 02/18
If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
Bit by bit, at 124 and in the Clearing, along with others, she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.
Beloved, Chapter 1, pg. 15
‘I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running — from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much.’
VIRGINIA WOOLF 01/25
Mrs Dalloway, 1.2
What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air.
ANAIS NIN 02/21
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Delta of Venus, 84, Elena
Because he did not understand his nature, he had at first blamed her, put on her burden of his frigidity toward woman. He said it was because she was intelligent, and intelligent women mixed literature and poetry with love, which paralyzed him; and that she was positive, masculine, in some of her ways, and this intimidated him. She was so young at the time, she had readily accepted this and come to believe that slender, intellectual, positive women could not be desired.
ALICE HOFFMAN 03/16
Books may well be the only true magic.
After a while, the characters I’m writing begin to feel real to me. That’s when I know I’m heading in the right direction.
Even in times when it’s difficult to figure out, how do you go forward, art – and books – always help.
The Dovekeepers, Narrator Yael, part 1 paragraph 2
Everywhere I walked my fate walked with me, sewn to my feet with red thread. All that will ever be has already been written long before it happens. There is nothing we can do to stop it.
MAYA ANGELOU 04/04
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Why the Caged Bird Sings, Chapter 2, pg. 10
Like most children, I thought if I could face the worst danger voluntarily, and triumph, I would forever have power over it.
CHARLOTTE BRONTE 03/31
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.
I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.
Jane Eyre, Chapter 1, pg. 5
She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie and could discover by her own observation that I was endeavoring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner–something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were–she really could must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children.’
JAMAICA KINCAID 05/25
One of the things reading does, it makes your loneliness manageable if you are an essentially lonely person.
I think life is difficult and that’s that. I am not at all – absolutely not at all – interested in the pursuit of happiness. I am not interested in the pursuit of positivity. I am interested in pursuing a truth, and the truth often seems to be not happiness but its opposite.
Tomorrow exists even though I may not exist in it.
A Small Place, pg. 7
How do they afford such a car? And do they live in a luxurious house to match such a car? Well, no. You will be surprised, then, to see that most likely the person driving this brand-new car filled with the wrong gas lives in a house that, in comparison, if far beneath the status of the car.
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE 06/14
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Chapter 2, pg. 18
‘Yes Eliza, it’s all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I’m a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that’s all. What’s the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What’s the use of living? I wish I was dead!’
OCTAVIA BUTLER 06/22
People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.
I have a huge and savage conscience that won’t let me get away with things.
Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.
Kindred, pg. 145
. . . the house-nigger, the handkerchief-head, the female Uncle Tom – the frightened powerless woman who had already lost all she could stand to lose, and who knew as little about freedom of the North as she knew about the hereafter.
J.K. ROWLING 07/31
Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“I DON’T CARE!” Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!”
“You do care,” said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.”
DANIELLE STEEL 08/14
Sometimes, if you aren’t sure about something, you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down.
If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future.
People are much more inclined to believe and say bad things about you if you’re famous.
Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. Maybe some people are just passing through. It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something: a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn. And that’s why they’re here. You’ll have that gift forever.
EMILY BRONTE 07/30
I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.
Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide.
Wuthering Heights, Chapter 9, pg. 74
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it…Nelly, Iam Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.
MARY SHELLEY 08/30
My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed – my dearest pleasure when free.
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.
Frankenstein, Chapter 2, pg. 22-3
The world was to [him] a secret which [he] desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to [him], are among the earliest sensations [he] can remember . . . It was the secrets of heaven and earth that [he] desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied [him], still [his] inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.
ANNE RICE 10/04
Evil is always possible. Goodness is a difficulty.
To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.
To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.
Interview with a Vampire
Evil is a point of view. We are immortal. And what we have before us are the rich feasts that conscience cannot appreciate and mortal men cannot know without regret. God kills, and so shall we; indiscriminately He takes the richest and the poorest, and so shall we; for no creatures under God are as we are, none so like Him as ourselves, dark angels not confined to the stinking limits of hell but wandering His earth and all its kingdoms.
GEORGE ELIOT 11/22
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts— not to hurt others.
AMY LEVY 11/10
A lover may be a shadowy creature, but husbands are made of flesh and blood.
Bitter indeed is Life, and bitter of Life the breath,
But give me Life and its ways and its men, if this be Death.
We are no more content to plod along the beaten paths – and so marriage must go the way of God.
The Romance of a Shop
For good or evil, these waifs on the great stream of London life had drifted together; how long the current should continue thus to bear them side by side- how long, indeed, they should float on the surface of the stream at all, was a question with which for the time being, they did not very much trouble themselves.
ANNE SEXTON 11/09
Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.
Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.
All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children…. I was trying my damnedest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can’t build little white picket fences to keep the nightmares out.
To Bedlam and Part Way Back, Her Kind
I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.
JANE AUSTEN 12/16
A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
Pride and Prejudice, Volume 2, Chapter 11, pg. 130
In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
CORNELIA FUNKE 12/10
If I was a book, I would like to be a library book, so I would be taken home by all different sorts of kids.
I always wanted to ride a dragon myself, so I decided to do this for a year in my imagination.
I will try to write books until I drop dead.
Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you secruity and friendship and didn’t ask for anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.
EMILY DICKINSON 12/10
Forever is composed of nows.
Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
The Complete Works, A Word is Dead
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live