Quotes from Lucky

Alice Sebold ·  243 pages

Rating: (84.8K votes)


“I live in a world where two truths coexist: where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“No one can pull anyone back from anywhere. You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“Since then I've always thought that under rape in the dictionary it should tell the truth. It is not just forcible intercourse; rape means to inhabit and destroy everything.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“I was trying to prove to them and to myself that I was still who I had always been. I was beautiful, if fat. I was smart, if loud. I was good, if ruined.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“Who would have thought something that happened that long ago could have such power?”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky



“You could not be filled with hate and be beautiful. Like any other girl, I wanted to be beautiful. But I was filled with hate.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“If I shut my eyes, I believed, I would disappear. To make it through, I had to be present the whole time.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“Learn a language of another country and then you can go to that country: a place where the problems of your family will not follow. A language they do not speak.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“After telling the hard facts to anyone from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes. Often it is awe or admiration, sometimes it is repulsion, once or twice it has been fury hurled directly at me for reasons I remain unsure of.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“When I was raped I lost my virginity and almost lost my life. I also discarded certain assumptions I had held about how the world worked and about how safe I was.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky



“...memory could save, that it had power, that it was often the only recourse of the powerless, the oppressed, or the brutalized.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“My life was over; my life had just begun.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“By the time I was eighteen, she had sat me down and detailed her alcoholism, its onset and aftermath. She believed that by sharing such things I might be able to avoid them or, if need be, recognize them when they occurred. By talking about them to her children, she was also acknowledging that they were real and that they had an effect on us too, that things like this shaped a family, not just the person they happened to.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“Tess was my first experience of a woman who had inhabited her weirdness, moved into the areas of herself that made her distinct from those around her, and learned how to display them proudly.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“I was unable to recognize something that I would come up against time and time again. You could not be filled with hate and be beautiful. Like any girl, I wanted to be beautiful. But I was filled with hate. So how could I be both..?”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky



“I now think that was distanced me from Tricia and from the Rape Crisis Center was their use of generalities. I did not want to be one of a group or compared with others. It somehow blindsided my sense that I was going to survive. Tricia prepared me for failure by saying that it would be okay if I failed. She did this by showing me that the odds out there were against me. But what she told me, I didn't want to hear. In the face of dismal statistics regarding arrest, prosecution, and even full recovery for the victim, I saw no choice but to ignore the statistics. I needed what gave me hope, like being assigned a female assistant district attorney, not the news that the number of rape prosecutions in Syracuse for that calendar year had been nil.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“In the tunnel where I was raped, a tunnel that was once an underground entry to an amphitheater, a place where actors burst forth from underneath the seats of a crowd, a girl had been murdered and dismembered. I was told this story by the police. In comparison, they said, I was lucky.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“For Lorenz, virgins were not a part of his world. He was skeptical of many things I said. Later, when the serology reports proved that what I had said was not a lie, that I had been a virgin, and that I was telling the truth, he could not respect me enough. I think he felt responsible, somehow. It was, after all, in his world where this hideous thing had happened to me. A world of violent crime.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“You save yourself or you remain unsaved”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“My father worked behind closed doors inside the house, had a huge ancient Latin dictionary on a wrought-iron stand, spoke Spanish on the phone, and drank sherry and ate raw meat, in the form of chorizo, at five o'clock. Until the day in the yard with my playmate I thought this was what fathers did. Then I began to catalog and notice. They mowed lawns. They drank beer. They played in the yard with their kids, walked around the block with their wives, piled into campers, and, when they went out, wore joke ties or polo shirts, not Phi Beta Kappa keys and tailored vests.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky



“Nikt nie może wyratować drugiego człowieka. Każdy musi ratować się sam albo jest stracony.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“I explained myself like this: I did not feel adamant about saying no, but I also didn't feel adamant about saying yes, so until I felt strongly one way or another, I'd stick with no.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“father worked behind closed doors inside the house, had a huge ancient Latin dictionary on a wrought-iron stand, spoke Spanish on the phone, and drank sherry and ate raw meat, in the form of chorizo, at five o’clock. Until the day in the yard with my”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


About the author

Alice Sebold
Born place: in Madison, Wisconsin, The United States
Born date September 6, 1963
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Popular quotes

“ما جدوى السفر حول العالم لرؤية ما يكمن أصلا في قرارة النفس ؟”
― Amin Maalouf, quote from Balthasar's Odyssey


Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird singing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.”
― Billy Collins, quote from Picnic, Lightning


“The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game . The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.”
― Erica Jong, quote from Fear of Flying


“Yer skirt invites a man’s attention. I’ve seen handkerchiefs that were bigger.”
She swung her handbag over her shoulder. “At least I wear underwear under my skirt.”
“I hope they’re nice since everyone is sure to see them.”
― Kerrelyn Sparks, quote from All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire


“Now you can all have a wish -- the Moomin family first!"
Moominmamma hesitated a bit. "Should it be something you can see?" she asked, "or an idea? If you know what I mean, Mr. Hobgoblin?"
"Oh, yes!" said the Hobgoblin. "Things are easier of course, but it will work with an idea too."
"Then I want to wish that Moomintroll will stop missing Snufkin," said Moominmamma.
"Oh, dear!" said Moomintroll going pink, "I didn't know it was so obvious!"
But the Hobgoblin waved his cloak once, and immediately the sadness flew out of Moomintroll's heart. His longing just became an expectancy, and that felt much better.”
― Tove Jansson, quote from Finn Family Moomintroll


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