Quotes from The Master Butchers Singing Club

Louise Erdrich ·  416 pages

Rating: (19.4K votes)


“Our songs travel the earth. We sing to one another. Not a single note is ever lost and no song is original. They all come from the same place and go back to a time when only the stones howled.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“She had always been a reader… but now she was obsessed. Since her discovery of the book hoard downstairs from her job, she’d been caught up in one such collection of people and their doings after the next…The pleasure of this sort of life – bookish, she supposed it might be called, a reading life – had made her isolation into a rich and even subversive thing. She inhabited one consoling or horrifying persona after another…That she was childless and husbandless and poor meant less once she picked up a book. Her mistakes disappeared into it. She lived with an invented force.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“When small towns find they cannot harm the strangest of their members, when eccentrics show resilience, they are eventually embraced and even cherished.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“She slowly became convinced…that at the center of the universe not God but a tremendous deadness reigned. The stillness of a drunk God, passed out cold…She had learned of it in that house…where the drunks crashed…Things had happened to her there. She was neither raped nor robbed, nor did she experience God’s absence to any greater degree than other people did. She wasn’t threatened or made to harm anyone against her will. She wasn’t beaten, either, or deprived of speech or voice. It was, rather, the sad blubbering stories she heard in the house. Delphine witnessed awful things occurring to other humans. Worse than that, she was powerless to alter their fate. It would be that way all her life – disasters, falling like chairs all around her, falling so close they disarranged her hair, but not touching her.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“As Delphine watched, into her head there popped a strange notion: the idea that perhaps strongly experienced moments, as when Eva turned and the sun met her hair and for that one instant the symbol blazed out, those particular moments were eternal. Those moments actually went somewhere. Into a file of moments that existed out of time's range and could not be pilfered by God.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club



“Delphine witnessed awful things occurring to other humans. Worse than that, she was powerless to alter their fate. It would be that way all her life--disasters, falling like chairs all around her, falling so close they disarranged her hair, but not touching her.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“Upon walking into Eva's kitchen, something profound happened to Delphine. She experienced a fabulous expansion of being. Light-headed, she felt a swooping sensation and then a quiet, as though she'd settled like a bird.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“Something in her was changing as she read the books. Life after life flashed before her eyes, yet she stayed safe from misery. And the urge to act things out onstage could be satisfied cheaply, and at home, and without the annoyance of other members of an acting company. Her ambition to leave faded and a kind of contentment set in. She hadn't exactly feared the word contentment, but had always associated it with a vague sense of failure. To be discontented had always seemed much richer a thing. To be restless, striving. That view was romantic. In truth, she was finding out, life was better lived in a tranquil pattern. As long as she could read, she never tired of the design of her days.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“Delphine began to read with a mad attention when she wanted to talk to Clarisse. She saw that in her life there was a woman-shaped hole, a cutout that led to a mysterious place. Through it, her mother, then Eva, and now Clarisse had walked. If only she could plunge her arms through and drag them back.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“Why now that he's sober and thoughtful, and living as a good man, does he get in the worst trouble of his life?”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club



“Bad smells made her angry, they were a personal affront.”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


“..She had started to understand how a woman's attention could succeed in making sense of a man's blind chaos..”
― Louise Erdrich, quote from The Master Butchers Singing Club


About the author

Louise Erdrich
Born place: in Little Falls, Minnesota, The United States
Born date June 7, 1954
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