23+ quotes from Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

Quotes from Lives of Girls and Women

Alice Munro ·  277 pages

Rating: (8.7K votes)


“His face contained for me all possibilities of fierceness and sweetness, pride and submissiveness, violence, self-containment. I never saw more in it than I had when I saw it first, because I saw everything then. The whole thing in him that I was going to love, and never catch or explain.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“People’s lives, in Jubilee as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable – deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“I felt in him what women feel in men, something so tender, swollen, tyrannical, absurd; I would never take the consequences of interfering with it.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“I was amazed as people must be who are seized and kidnapped, and who realize that in the strange world of their captors they have a value absolutely unconnected with anything they know about themselves.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“((لكني آمل أن تستخدمي عقلك. استخدمي عقلك، لا تتشتتي، فبمجرد أن ترتكبي ذلك الخطأ – أن تتشتتي بسبب رجل – لن تعود حياتك ملكك، ستكونين أنت من يتحمل العناء، المرأة دائمًا هي من تتحمل العناء.))”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“One stroke of lightning does not have to lead anywhere, but to the next stroke of lightning.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“Unconnected to the life of love, uncolored by love, the world resumes its own, its natural and callous importance. This is first a blow, then an odd consolation. And already I felt my old self - my old, devious, ironic, isolated self - beginning to breathe again and stretch and settle, though all around it my body clung cracked and bewildered, in the stupid pain of loss.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“The skin of everyday appearances stretched over such shamelessness, such consuming explosions of lust.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“What good is it if you read Plato and never clean your toilet? asked my mother, reverting to the values of Jubilee.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“My need for love had gone underground, like a canny toothache.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“It seemed to me that winter was the time for love, not spring. In winter the habitable world was so much contracted; out of that little shut-in space we lived in, fantastic hopes might bloom. But spring revealed the ordinary geography of the place; the long, brown roads, the old cracked sidewalks underfoot, all the tree branches broken off in winter storms, that had to be cleared out of the yards. Spring revealed distances, exactly as they were.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“But I hope you will -- use your brains. Use your brains. Don't be distracted. Once you make that mistake, of being -- distracted, over a man, your life will never be your own. You will get the burden, a woman always does.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“There is a change coming I think in the lives of girls and women. Yes. But it is up to us to make it come. All women have had up till now has been their connection with men. All we have had. No more lives of our own, really, than domestic animals. He shall hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force, a little closer than his dog, a little dearer than his horse. Tennyson wrote that. It's true. Was true. You will want to have children, though.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“It had a sort of a head on it, like a mushroom, and its color was reddish purple. It looked blunt and stupid, compared, say, to fingers and toes with their intelligent expressiveness, or even to an elbow or a knee.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“Love is not for the undepilated.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“As I walked into Jubilee I repossessed the world. Trees, houses, fences, streets, cambe back to me, in their own sober and familiar shapes. Unconnected to the life of love, uncolored by love, the world resumes its own, its natural and callous importance. This is first a blow, then an odd consolation. And already I felt my old self--my old devious, ironic, isolated self--beginning to breathe again and stretch and settle, though all around it my body clung cracked and bewildered, in the stupid pain of loss.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“hector him like this from now on, when I could get him alone.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“This was the great difference between disappointing him and disappointing somebody like my mother, or even my aunts. Masculine self-centeredness made him restful to be with.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“He said the difference between the male and female modes of thought were easily illustrated by the thoughts of a boy and girl, sitting on a park bench, looking at the full moon. The boy thinks of the universe, its immensity and mystery; the girl thinks, "I must wash my hair." When I read this I was frantically upset; I had to put the magazine down. It was clear to me at once that I was not thinking as a girl thought; the full moon would never as long as I lived remind me to wash my hair. I knew if I showed it to my mother she would say, "Oh it is just that maddening male nonsense, women have no brains." That would not convince me; surely a New York psychiatrist must know. And women like my mother were in the minority, I could see that. Moreover I did not want to be like my mother, with her virginal brusqueness, her innocence. I wanted men to love me, and I wanted to think of the universe when I looked at the moon. I felt trapped, stranded; it seemed there had to be a choice where there couldn't be a choice.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“There is a change coming I think in the lives of girls and women.
Yes, but it is up to us to make it come.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“¿Qué era una vida normal? Era la vida de las chicas que trabajaban con ella, las fiestas de homenaje, las sábanas de hilo, las baterías de cocina y la cubertería de plata, ese complicado orden femenino; y, por otro lado, era la vida del salón de baile Gay-la, ir borracha en coche por carreteras negras, escuchar chistes de hombres, soportar y pelearte con hombres y conseguirlos, conseguirlos: un lado no podía existir sin el otro, y al asumir y acostumbrarse a ambos, una chica se ponía en camino del matrimonio. No había otra manera. Y yo no iba”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“My mother had not let anything go. Inside that self we knew, which might at times appear blurred a bit, or sidetracked, she kept her younger selves strenuous and hopeful; scenes from the past were liable to pop up any time, like lantern slides, against the cluttered fabric of the present.”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


“... I felt that it was not so different from all the other advice handed out to women, to girls, advice that assumed being female made you damageable, that a certain amount of carefulness and solemn fuss and self-protection were called for, whereas men were supposed to be able to go out and take on all kinds of experiences and shuck off what they didn’t want and come back proud. Without even thinking about it, I had decided to do the same”
― Alice Munro, quote from Lives of Girls and Women


About the author

Alice Munro
Born place: in Wingham, Ontario, Canada
Born date July 10, 1931
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