“The trouble with Clare was, not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too, but that she wanted to nibble at the cakes of other folk as well.”
“It hurt. It hurt like hell. But it didn’t matter, if no one knew.”
“Everything can't be explained by some general biological phrase.”
“I feel like the oldest person in the world with the longest stretch of life before me.”
“Well, what of it? If sex isn’t a joke, what is it”
“And yet she hadn't the air of a woman whose life had been touched by uncertainty or suffering. Pain, fear, and grief were things that left their mark on people. Even love, that exquisite torturing emotion, left its subtle traces on the countenance.”
“She isn't stupid. She's intelligent enough in a purely feminine way. Eighteenth-century France would have been a marvellous setting for her, or the old South if she hadn't made the mistake of being born a Negro.”
“But she did not look the future in the face. She wanted to feel nothing, to think nothing; simply to believe that it was all silly invention on her part. Yet she could not. Not quite.”
“She wished to find out about this hazardous business of “passing,” this breaking away from all that was familiar and friendly to take one’s chance in another environment, not entirely strange, perhaps, but certainly not entirely friendly.”
“I'm not such an idiot that I don't realize that if a man calls me a nigger it's his fault the first time, but mine if he has the opportunity to do it again.”
“The trouble with Clare was not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too but that she wanted to nibble at the cakes of other folk as well.”
“Money's awfully nice to have. In
fact, all things considered, I think, 'Rene, that
it's even worth the price.”
“she regarded with an astonishment that had in it a mild degree of amusement the violence of the feelings which it stirred in her.”
“She laughed and the ringing bells in her laugh had a hard metallic sound.”
“you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.” Both”
“Oh, it makes a difference, I thought. And if it doesn't make a difference you will make it make a difference.”
“Utter loneliness was planted in me then, and sent its deep roots down into me.”
“Occasionally, very occasionally, say at four o’clock in the afternoon on a wet Sunday, she feels panic-stricken and almost breathless with loneliness. Once or twice she has been known to pick up the phone to check that it isn’t broken. Sometimes she thinks how nice it would be to be woken by a call in the night: ‘get in a taxi now’ or ‘I need to see you, we need to talk’. But at the best of times she feels like a character in a Muriel Spark novel – independent, bookish, sharp-minded, secretly romantic.”
“On a sticky August evening two weeks before her due date, Ashima Ganguli stands in the kitchen of a Central Square apartment, combining Rice Krispies and Planters peanuts and chopped red onion in bowl.”
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