Instead of idleness, vanity, or an intellect formed by the spoon-feeding of others, my girls have acquired energy, industry, and independence.

Australians say 'pissed off.' Pissed means drunk. Piss is alcohol. To take the piss--that means to send someone up, make fun of them.

Much later, when I could think about it clearly, I consoled myself that there were many worse ways in which I might have been raped.

If there is one class of person I have never quite trusted, it is a man who knows no doubt.

What he says may be true for English, but why should I want to go into this God's house if only English are there? If God wanted us in this house than he would have sent our ancestors such a book.

I swim in a sea of words. They flow around me and through me and, by a process that is not fully clear to me, some delicate hidden membrane draws forth the stuff that is the necessary condition of my life.

You don't need a prophet to tell you to eat.

Yes, it seems we've got this mutant gene in our human personality that makes us susceptible to this same kind of mistake over and over again. It's really uncanny how we build these beautiful multicultural edifices and then allow this switch to be flipped and everybody goes, 'Oh, the other, get them out of here.'

This morning, light lapped the water as if God had spilt a goblet of molten gold upon a ground of darkest velvet.

She would have had to keep her headscarf on, never laugh, never smile—if she smiles at a man he will think, ‘Ah, she loves me,' Mohamed explained.

Often the women are burned, so that the death can be passed off as an accident. The killer usually becomes a local hero: a man who has done what was necessary to clear his family name.

All this is true and certain. But what I do not know is this: which home welcomed him, at the end. Whichever it was—the celestial English heaven of seraphim, cherubim and ophanim, or Kietan's warm and fertile place away in the southwest, I believe that his song was powerful enough for Joel to hear and to follow him there.

Only one god. Strange, that you English, who gather about you so many things, are content with one only.

In any case, the manifesto states that a Jew is without honour from the day of his birth. That he cannot differentiate between what is dirty and what is clean. That he is ethically subhuman and dishonourable. It is therefore impossible to insult a Jew and from this it follows that a Jew cannot demand satisfaction for any insult.

For these women, Hamas's view of women was laughable. And since they couldn't hear the appeal of such views themselves, they were deaf to the appeal they held for their students.

I was not 15 anymore, and choices no longer had that same clear, bright edge to them.

It's so easy for people like me—a diplomat's son raised abroad and educated in America—to be totally off base about this country and what it is ready to accept.

And yet what manner of man would I be, who has so much to say in the contest of words, if now I shirked this contest of blood?

She was like a butterfly, full of color and vibrancy when she chose to open her wings, yet hardly visible when she closed them.

One program that deplored the high incidence of wife beating drew hundreds of letters from angry men, who insisted that beating their wives was a God-given right.

He gave himself fully to the penitent life, fasting, praying, confessing his wickedness and execrating himself in public. He became a better man in the small matters of his days, an even better, wiser king in the great matters of state.

Inside, I gagged. The floor was awash with excrement. Blocked toilet bowls brimmed with sewage. The place looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in weeks. Nobody had noticed, because nobody who mattered ever went in there.

I write while my son is at school. At about 7:45 A.M., I walk him there, with the dogs, then walk them for another forty minutes or so, go home and chain myself to the desk a little before 9 A.M., and try not to be distracted until I hear my son plunge through the front door at about 3 P.M.

We expected that the international community would put a stop to it. I believed that. I was worried about getting through a few days, that's all, while the world—how do you say?—got its act together.

The old man was appalled by the prospect of women driving. He clapped a bony hand to his heart and gazed heavenward: I hope I never see it in my lifetime, he said.

The stories that grow up around a king are strong vines with a fierce grip.

No, no, he said. She can't raise it at all. She may only clap. Women must be very careful of their voices.

He said that the music—its order and precision—helped him find the patterns in things—the way through the confusion of events and opinions to direction, to order, and beyond, to inspiration.

The word for mother, umm, is the root of the words for source, nation, mercy, first principle, rich harvest; stupid, illiterate, parasite, weak of character, without opinion.

At sunset, if I am near the water - and it is hard to be very far from it here -I pause to watch the splendid disc set the brine aflame and then douse itself in it's own fiery broth.

It is one thing to know what is to come. It is another thing to confront it.

It is a great thing to be young and to live without pain. And yet it is a blessing few of us count until we lose it.

So this was how it was to be, now: I would do my best to live in the quick world, but the ghosts of the dead would be ever at hand.

And he exercised uncommon tact with his men, meeting them where they stood, rather than demanding that they always be the ones accommodating themselves. I have learned over time that this quality is rare in any man, even more so in a leader.

One does not have to be a priest to be a man!

The Sarajevans have a very particular world view - a mordant wit coupled with this unbearable sadness and... truckloads of guts, you know.

A canoe paddle is animate, because it causes something else to move. Even a humble onion has, in their view, a soul, since it causes action—pulling tears from the eyes.

In Muslim societies men's bodies just weren't seen as posing the same kind of threat to social stability as women's.

I think probably the scaredest I've ever been was in Somalia. I arrived there when the episode that became known as 'Black Hawk Down' was still taking place. The Americans were still pinned down under fire. And everybody else was basically going the other way, and I was the only one putting my hand up for a flight in.

If somebody from the past doesn't rise up from the grave and start talking to me, I haven't got a book. I have to hear that voice, the voice of the narrator. How she sounds will tell me who she is, and who she is will tell me how she will act - and that starts the plot in motion.

I never promised I would write the truth.

The priest Zadok looked stricken. He had hoped to bargain information for a higher price. Now I, as a prophet, had given it to David for free.

But some things on earth were possible, and some were not, and Ruti knew the difference.

I knew that the Name was still with him, animating his soul, even as his body failed.

David set me to learn other skills, too, in those days of restless waiting.

But as I have resolved to set down a full account here, so I must begin with an honest accounting of myself. That morning, I was afraid.

You go on. You set one foot in front of the other, and if a thin voice cries out, somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear, and keep going.

How often it is that an idea that seems bright bossed and gleaming in its clarity when examined in a church, or argued over with a friend in a frosty garden, becomes clouded and murk-stained when dragged out into the field of actual endeavor.

I was so shy. I used to cross the street so I wouldn't even have to talk to my relatives, much less strangers. That's not shy, that's wise. But I found that that when you had a journalist's notebook in your hand it wasn't really you, you see.