“That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
“You are still young, free.. Do yourself a favor. Before it's too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.”
“They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”
“Try to remember it always," he said once Gogol had reached him, leading him slowly back across the breakwater, to where his mother and Sonia stood waiting. "Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.”
“Pet names are a persistant remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.”
“Pack a pillow and blanket and see as much of the world as you can.You will not regret it.”
“She has the gift of accepting her life.”
“Though no longer pregnant, she continues, at times, to mix Rice Krispies and peanuts and onions in a bowl. For being a foreigner Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy -- a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been an ordinary life, only to discover that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity of from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.”
“My grandfather says that's what books are for," Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. "To travel without moving an inch.”
“Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.”
“One hand, five homes. A lifetime in a fist.”
“Somehow, bad news, however ridden with static, however filled with echoes, always manages to be conveyed.”
“You remind me of everything that followed.”
“Do what I will never do.”
“But she has gathered that Americans, in spite of their public declarations of affection, in spite of their miniskirts and bikinis, in spite of their hand-holding on the street and lying on top of each other on the Cambridge Common, prefer their privacy.”
“In so many ways, his family's life feels like a string of accidents, unforeseen, unintended, one incident begetting another...They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”
“Will you remember this day, Gogol?" his father had asked, turning back to look at him, his hands pressed like earmuffs to either side of his head. "How long do I have to remember it?" Over the rise and fall of the wind, he could hear his father's laughter. He was standing there, waiting for Gogol to catch up, putting out a hand as Gogol drew near. "Try to remember it always," he said once Gogol reached him, leading him slowly back across the breakwater, to where his mother and Sonia stood waiting. "Remember that you and I made this journey, that we went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.”
“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.”
“Pet names are a persistent remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated.”
“Is that what you think of when you think of me?" Gogol asks him. "Do I remind you of that night"?
"Not at all", his father says eventually, one hand going to his ribs, a habitual gesture that has baffled Gogol until now. "You remind me of everything that followed.”
“Gogol remembers having to do the same thing when he was younger, when his grandparents died...He remembers, back then, being bored by it, annoyed at having to observe a ritual no one else he knew followed, in honor of people he had seen only a few times in his life...Now, sitting together at the kitchen table at six-thirty every evening, his father's chair empty, this meatless meal is the only thing that seems to make sense.”
“He tries to peel the image from the sticky yellow backing, to show her the next time he sees her, but it clings stubbornly, refusing to detach cleanly from the past.”
“She has given birth to vagabonds. She is the keeper of all these names and numbers now, numbers she once knew by heart, numbers and addresses her children no longer remember.”
“She had listened to him, partly sympathetic, partly horrified. For it was one thing for her to reject her background, to be critical of her family's heritage, another to hear it from him.”
“...that in spite of living in a mansion an American is not above wearing a pair of secondhand pants, bought for fifty cents.”
“My grandfather always says that's what books are for. To travel without moving an inch.”
“Gogol is unaccustomed to this sort of talk at mealtimes, to the indulgent ritual of the lingering meal, and the pleasant aftermath of bottles and crumbs and empty glasses that clutter the table.”
“In the days that follow, he begins to remember things about Moushumi, images that come to him without warning while he is sitting at his desk at work, or during a meeting, or drifting off to sleep, or standing in the mornings under the shower. They are scenes he has carried within him, buried but intact, scenes he has never thought about or had reason to conjure up until now.”
“Without a single grandparent or parent or uncle or aunt at her side, the baby’s birth, like most everything else in America, feels somehow haphazard, only half true. As she strokes and suckles and studies her son, she can’t help but pity him. She has never known of a person entering the world so alone, so deprived.”
“She is stunned that in this town there are no sidewalks to speak of, no streetlights, no public transportation, no stores for miles at at a time.”
“Las voces de mi cabeza empiezan a acallarse cuando me siento a su lado.
Solo una sigue gritando.
Aún me queda una cosa por decirle. Por desgracia, se me ha agotado el valor.
De modo que, mientras la abrazo, pienso para mí: Emme Connelly, te quiero. Estoy enamorado de ti desde el día que te conocí.”
“There’s no right and wrong with feelings. There is only what there is.” She”
“A creature is what it is, even if it can't show its true face.”
“Do you ever wonder, Zelda, if you’re allowed to be happy?”
Tears sprang to my eyes. “Yes,” I whispered. “All the time. Every minute.”
His brows furrowed and he brushed the backs of his fingers along my cheek.
“I hate to hear you say that. I hate that I can’t take that pain from you.”
“Me too,” I said. “For you. You carry too much.”
“Maybe we both do.”
“Neither force, nor argument, nor opinion,” said Merlyn with the deepest sincerity, “are thinking. Argument is only a display of mental force, a sort of fencing with points in order to gain a victory, not for truth. Opinions are the blind alleys of lazy or of stupid men, who are unable to think.”
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