Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states.

In the traditional urban novel, there is only survival or not. The suburban idea, the conformist idea, that agony can be seen to and cured by doctors or psychoanalysis or self-knowledge is nowhere to be found in the city. Talking is a way of life, but it is not a cure. Same with religion.

There is a sociology of horses, as well as a psychology. It is most evident in the world of horse racing, where many horses are gathered together, where year after year, decade after decade, they do the same, rather simple thing - run in races and try to win.

The fundamental condition of childhood is powerlessness.

So all I have is the knowledge that I saw! That I saw without being afraid and without turning away, and that I didn't forgive the unforgivable. Forgiveness is a reflex for when you can't stand what you know. I resisted that reflex. That's my sole, solitary, lonely accomplishment.

She chewed the tender meat and sucked out the juices and felt the sauce coat her tongue and roll down her throat. After that, he looked still better. Another.

In many ways, being honest about 'Huckleberry Finn' goes right to the heart of whether we can be honest about our heritage and our identity as Americans.

Do you think I would want to live under a government that you ran or set up? It's all very nice to say you're an anarchist, but you only want anarchy for yourself. For the rest of us, you want to make sure we do what you say, think how you think, and remember you're the boss.

She said, Some are born bossy, some achieve bossiness, and some have bossiness thrust upon them.

But from this distance, the velvety reds, flashing yellows and glassy whites [of the roses] seemed to break up the light of the summer sun into its various elements and cast it back far more brilliantly than any other flower ever could, seemed not exactly of the earth, but of space and air itself.

There are hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the United States and in other countries, too. Wright lived into his 90s, and one of his most famous buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, was completed just before his death. Wright buildings look like Wright buildings - that is their paradox.

Another thing I learned is that novels, even those from apparently distant times and places, remain current and enlightening, and also comforting.

All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a lifelong sport and art, an endeavor that is both familiar and new every time you take the horse out of his stall or pasture.

Your sons weren't made to like you. That's what grandchildren are for.

Her stare was like a small room he couldn't get out of.

She always said, 'When I'm home, I've got to get things done, even if there are visitors. Elizabeth knows how to relax in her own house.' And then she would shake her head, as if Elizabeth had remarkable powers.

I loved the house the way you would any new house, because it is populated by your future, the family of children who will fill it with noise or chaos and satisfying busy pleasures.

'Ape House' is an ambitious novel in several ways, for which it is to be admired, and it is certainly an easy read, but because Gruen is not quite prepared for the philosophical implications of her subject, it is not as deeply involving emotionally or as interesting thematically as it could be.

I had spent years thinking about one thing while I was doing another. I had, in fact, prided myself on being able to do two things at once.

War is inevitable when the world is fallen. If you stop one, another will start. Redemption is the only path away from war.

Is human nature basically good or evil? No economist can embark upon his profession without considering this question, and yet they all seem to. And they all seem to think human nature is basically good, or they wouldn't be surprised by the effects of deregulation.

In this flirtation he was conducting, he had had to rely entirely on his personality, never a good idea.

She knew one of the great family truths, that aunts always help, whilr moms always think it would be good for you if you did it yourself.

A theory of creativity is actually just a metaphor. A pool of ideas, a well of memories, a voice.

Ron Paul, who, as someone said, wouldn't have regulated a sewer pipe running through his child's playroom.

With horses, familiarity breeds comfort. If you haven't been around horses for a while (or ever), the best thing to do is to go to the racetrack, a horse show, a rodeo, or some other horsey activity, and watch the horses. Familiarize yourself with the way they move and behave themselves.

There were no toys under the bed--that wasn't why he liked it. Why he liked it was that there wasn't anything under the bed--no chickens, no Joey, no Eloise, no sheep, no "no"s. He could lie under the bed and not be told anything at all.

The real mystery was how your farm bound you to it, so tightly that you would pay any price (literally, in interest) or make any sacrifice just to take these steps across this familiar undulating ground time and time again.

The state fair was all very well, but it shouldn't be the last thing you saw in your life. At first you thought of people like Eloise and Frank and Lillian as runaways, and then, after a bit, you knew they were really scouts.

Well, in fact everybody - everybody - in the entire nation has enough stuff in their life to write about that's interesting that they could write their autobiography. And in the end that's why I find people interesting.

This is true, at the least, that no veil of beauty hides the evils from our sight.

If American literature has a few heroes, Miller is one of them. He refused to name names at the McCarthy hearings, and his play 'The Crucible' analysed the hearings in the context of a previous American mass psychosis, the Salem witch trials.

He had accepted that if you were a bookish person the events in your life took place in your head.

I was an only child. I've known only children. From this experience, I do believe that the children should outnumber the parents.

My mind is like a room where the door swings free in the breeze, and many visitors come and go and stay and vanish as they will.

Like most of the educated, I do harbor a fondness for the sins of my ignorant past.

Upstairs, in the cupboard, he had a box of things he had saved as a boy and a young man. He hadn't looked into it in twenty years or more. Nothing fancy or valuable, but things that had meant something to him at one time. He found it, and found the key, and carried it downstairs without opening it.

Almonds. Apricots. Avocadoes. Some peaches I don't know. Grapefruit. Lemones. Probably oranges.

'The Good Soldier' is an odd and maybe even unique book. That it is a masterpiece, almost a perfect novel, comes as a repeated surprise even to readers who have read it before.

I thought I might write mysteries for the rest of my life.

In truth Mr Jonas Silk was as niggardly as he was jealous, and my sister Beatrice had as much interest in Kansas as she did in the czar of all the Russias, and so my brother Mr. Horace Silk worked out his plans in a white heat of frustrated eagerness.

I readily admit it is easy to make of horses what we will. Silent, in some ways reserved, they allow us to train them, and to project our ideas upon them; to ride and drive them, and to make them symbolic, perhaps to a greater degree than any other species.

Eavesdrop and write it down from memory - gives you a stronger sense of how people talk and what their concerns are. I love to eavesdrop!

Somehow, knowing that Alzheimer's is coming mocks all one's aspirations - to tell stories, to think through certain issues as only a novel can do, to be recognised for one's accomplishments and hard work - in a way that old familiar death does not.

At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road.

I was asked by an editor to consider writing something about an American inventor. I asked him if he knew who invented the computer. He said he didn't. In that case, I told him, I should write a book about John Vincent Atanasoff.

When 'The Awakening' was published it was considered so scandalous it was banned in the author's home-town library, and she herself was barred from the Fine Arts Club in the same city. What the novel has to offer, among other things, is honesty.

My mom was paranoid about my safety.

But even though I felt her presence, I also felt the habitual fruitlessness of thinking about her. Her images, partly memories of her, partly memories of photos I had seen of her, yielded no new answers to old mysteries.