People are locked up in all sorts of ways.

Alice says she can't explain herself because she's not herself, she knows who she was this morning but she changed several times since then.

Happiness as un-pin-downable as a louse: you feel the tickle of its passage but your fingers close on nothing.

If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.

So then she took me home, or I took her home, or we were both somehow taken to the closest thing.

I think buddy is man talk for sweetie.

You must feel an almost pathological need—understandably—to stand guard between your son and the world. Yeah, it's called being a mother. Ma nearly snarls it.

I thought humans were or weren't, I didn't know someone could be a bit human. Then what are his other bits?

It was easy to lose a part of your body, it seemed to her; there were so many ways, it was a wonder anybody reached their death intact.

Sometimes you must shed your skin to save it.

I think she was too tired to play anymore, she was in a hurry to get to Heaven so she didn't wait, why didn't she wait for me?

All I think when I look at you is hallelujah.

People move around so much in the world, things get lost.

The human mind needs boundaries. Without them it would fall in on itself, like a crushed honeycomb.

You cannot predict literary success; the only way you can possibly aim for it is to do your thing and do it well.

You're meant to have an unhappy childhood to be a writer, but there's a lot to be said for a very happy one that just lets you get on with it.

Sometimes love is a pie. There just isn't enough to go around. Or OK, maybe there is enough love, but not enough time and attention, so you have to grab your piece, and then the pie smashes and you're fighting for crumbs...

A fast didn't go fast; it was the slowest thing there was. Fast meant a door shut fast, firmly. A fastness, a fortress. To fast was to hold fast to emptiness, to say no and no and no again.

Writers should be applauded for their ability to make things up.

Their next reunion shifted like an oasis on the horizon, and Jude couldn't plot her course. She trudged through her days, haunted by the feeling that real life was happening five thousand kilometers away.

It's called mind over matter. If we don't mind, it doesn't matter. When.

I watch his hands, they're lumpy but clever. Is there a word for adults when they aren't parents? Steppa laughs. Folks with other things to do?

There are some tales not for telling, whether because they are too long, too precious, too laughable, too painful, too easy to need telling or too hard to explain. After all, after years and travels my secrets are all I have left to chew on in the night.

The great thing about a short story is that it doesn't have to trawl through someone's whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.

I hate desks; they make me feel like a child doing homework.

Keep your heart infinitesimally small and sorrow will never spy it, never plunge, never flap away with your heart in her claws.

The hammock hangs on hooks in two trees at the very back of the yard, one is a shortish tree that's only twice my tall and bent over, one is a million times high with silvery leaves.

And why must it always be presumed that a woman's views are based on personal considerations?

I tend to be so lost in the work that I don't notice the weather. My partner will come home and say, 'Beautiful day, wasn't it?' and I'll say, 'Was it?' as I won't have noticed the real world at all.

Luckily Sumac has extra Rakhi in her pocket and hands them out to anyone who wants one, because really, who cares so long as the threads get tied.

I remember a period where my publisher said to me, 'Look, your historical work is selling much better than your contemporary work, so please give us more historicals.'

She struggled to think of one day in more than fifteen years of life when instead of drifting along like a leaf on the river she'd simply grabbed what she wanted.

I may have had moments of regret in my life, but you know, they wouldn't add up to an hour.

How odd; wedded for life, because one of us had died.

People have no idea of the things that don't happen to them—the lives they're not living, the deaths stalking them—and thank Christ for that. Hard enough to get through each day without glimpsing all the hovering possibilities, like insects thickening the air.

Me and Ma have a deal, we're going to try everything one time so we know what we like.

I have never been depressed or thrown a plate, which I attribute to the cathartic effects of writing books about people whose lives are more grueling than mine.

Jo claimed that the reason people survived breakups was that within days of the amputation, Mother Nature started reminding you of what you had been doing without, what could have been better, all the samll discontents you had been filing away.

Good nurses follow rules, Lib growled, but the best know when to break them.

A strident female voice causes men's ears to close.

Mary regretted it a little already. Sometimes words were like glass that broke in her mouth.

Writing stories is my way of scratching that itch: my escape from the claustrophobia of individuality. It lets me, at least for a while, live more than one life, walk more than one path. Reading, of course, can do the same.

Lots of the world seems to be a repeat.

In Room I was safe and Outside is the scary.

I love it when novels contain a broad cast of characters, including queer ones.

Stories are a different kind of true.

Bye-bye. Walker flaps his hand up and down.

Is there a sense in which you miss being behind a locked door? Ma turns to Morris. Is she allowed to ask me such stupid questions? The.

Perhaps there is no providence, no fate, no grand plan, she thinks now. Perhaps we dig our own traps and lie down in them.