Quotes from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Anne Tyler ·  303 pages

Rating: (20.5K votes)


“Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things--even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos--ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“When you have children, you're obligated to live.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“...it's closeness that does you in. Never get too close to people, son.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“He was wondering if there was some cryptic, cultish mark on his door that told all the crazy people he'd have trouble saying no.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“She remembered the feel of wind on summer nights - how it billows through the house and wafts the curtains and smells of tar and roses”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant



“...he thought of dying as a kind of adventure, something new that he hadn't yet experienced. Like an unusual vacation trip.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“You think we're a family,' Cody said, turning back. 'You think we're some jolly, situation-comedy family when we're in particles, torn apart, torn all over the place, and our mother was a witch.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“dying, you don't get to see how it all turns out. Questions you have asked will go unanswered forever. Will this one of my children settle down? Will that one learn to be happier? Will I ever discover what was meant by such-and-such?”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“Cody cut into a huge wedge of pie and gave some thought to food--to its inexplicable, loaded meaning in other people's lives. Couldn't you classify a person, he wondered, purely by examining his attitude toward food?”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“It was funny, in her old age, to look back and see for how short a period her nest had NOT been empty. Relatively speaking, it was nothing - empty far longer than full. so much of herself had been invested in those children; who could believe how briefly they'd been with her.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant



“When you come [to a baseball game] in person, you direct your own focus, you know? The TV or the radio men, they might focus on the pitcher when you want to see what first base is doing; and you don't have any choice but to accept it.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“Always have a purpose,' his father used to tell him. 'Act like you're heading someplace purposeful, and none of the low-life will mess with you.' He had also said, 'Never trust a man who starts his sentences with "Frankly,"' and 'Nine tenths of a good sidearm pitch is in the flick of the wrist,' and 'If you want to sell a person something, look off elsewhere as you're speaking, not straight into his eyes.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“Their growing up amounted, therefore, to a gradual dimming of the light at her bedroom door, as if they took some radiance with them as they moved away from her. She should have planned for it better, she sometimes thought. She should have made a few friends or joined a club. But she wasn’t the type. It wouldn’t have consoled her.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“انت تصدقنى، أليس كذلك؟ فأنا لست عمياء. اعرف متى اكون غير معقولة. احيانا اقف
خارج نفسى وأراقب كل شىء، منفصلة تماما. اقول لنفسى "توقفى الان" ، لكن الامر يبدو كما لو كنت... اتيه عجبا بنفسى، على ان اهاجم، ان اواصل. افكر، "اجل، اجل،سأتوقف، فقط لأقل شيئا واحدا اخر، مجرد هذا الشىء الواحد الاخر..."
صفحة 214”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“On Calvert Street, the row houses stood in two endless lines. "I don’t see how you know which one was home," Luke had told him once, and Cody had been amazed. Oh, if you lived here you knew. They weren’t alike at all, not really. One had dozens of roses struggling in its tiny front yard, another an illuminated Madonna glowing night and day in the parlor window. Some had their trim painted in astonishing colors, assertively, like people with their chins thrust out. The fact that they were attached didn’t mean a thing.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant



“serious. She’d been frantic. Over his crib she had”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“I feel the place is falling apart on me, but Mrs. Scarlatti says not to worry. It always looks like that, she says. Life is a continual shoring up, she says, against one thing and another just eroding and crumbling away. I'm beginning to think she's right.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“See this? And this? See me somersault? See me pull my wagon?” His smallness colored every act; he was conscious of a desperate need to learn to manage, to take charge of his surroundings. Waking”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“There ought to be a while separate language, she thought, for words that are truer than other words - for perfect, absolute truth. It was the purest fact of her life: she did not understand him, and she never would.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


“Something was wrong with him. Something was wrong with all of her children. They were so frustrating—attractive, likable people, the three of them, but closed off from her in some perverse way that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. And”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant



“Everything comes down to time in the end - to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't happiness expecting something time is going to bring you? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things - even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos - ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? Long-ago people smiling, a child who would be an old lady now, a cat that died, a flowering plant that's long since withered away and the pot itself broken or misplaced...Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


About the author

Anne Tyler
Born place: in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The United States
Born date October 25, 1941
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