But why think the more reasons there were to sin, the smaller the sin was?

To look back at all past work induces nausea [...] It's like taking a tour of a cell in which you were once incarcerated.

Young people understand the world. They should be listened to on matters of politics and world organization. But they know nothing of their own lives.

That there might be any practical divergence between my mother's situation and her own did not seem to occur to Aimee, and this was one of my earliest lessons in her way of viewing the differences between people, which were never structural or economic but always essentially differences of personality.

The roots of rap are originally ghetto-ised or extremely working class. So when you're an artist who's making something which isn't how its mainstream appearance should be, there's always these strange questions of authenticity and what you have to do to be 'real' as a rapper.

The story was the price you paid for the rhythm.

You are never stronger, thought Samad as approached the doctor, than when you land on the other side of despair.

People who live on solid ground, underneath safe skies, know nothing of this; they are like the English POWs in Dresden who continued to pour tea and dress for dinner, even as the alarms went off, even as the city became a towering ball of fire. Born of a green and pleasant land, a temperate land, the English have a basic inability to conceive.

When my little group get together, if we disagree about something, we can sort it out. Example: Mohona Hossain hates Divargiit Singh. Hates all his movies. Hates him with a passion. She likes that other fool with the eyelashes like a lady! But we compromise. Never once have I burned a single video of hers.

Where you come from it is customary to boil vegetables until they fall apart. This does mean,' said Samad tersely, 'that it is a good idea.

Crazy enough to start a war. There aren't many people like that. Most of us just follow along once war has been announced.

As a fact it was, in my mind, at one and the same time absolutely true and obviously untrue, and perhaps only children are able to accommodate double-faced facts like these.

All tastes are expressions of belief.

The river split this finger of land in half throughout its length, and the airport was on the other side.

Art is the Western myth, with which we both console ourselves and make ourselves.

And the sins of the Eastern father shall be visited upon the Western sons. Often taking their time, stored up in the genes like baldness or testicular carcinoma, but sometimes on the very same day.

To a novelist, fluidity is the ultimate good omen; suddenly difficult problems are simply solved, intractable structural knots loosen themselves, and you come upon the key without even recognizing that this is what you hold.

Maybe a certain kind of ignorance was the condition. Into the pure nothingness of my non-knowledge something sublime (an event?) beyond (beneath?) consciousness was able to occur.

A carefully preserved English accent also upped the fear factor.

Well, we can say that Aimee lives in her bubble," he said, interrupting me, "and so does your friend and, by the way, so do you. It's possible that it's like this for everyone. The size of the bubble is different, this is all. And perhaps the thickness of the--what do you call this in English?--skin--film. The thin layer on a bubble.

Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own.

Don't ever underestimate people, don't ever underestimate the pleasure they receive from viewing pain that is not their own... Pain by itself is just Pain. But Pain + Distance can = entertainment, voyeurism, human interest, cinéma vérité, a good belly chuckle, a sympathetic smile, a raised eyebrow, disguised contempt.

Sacrifice was nine tenths of parenting.

It was the spirit of the times: we applied high theory to shampoo ads, philosophy to NWA videos.

The fate of the young man in his headphones, who faced a jail cell that very night, did not seem such a world away from his own predicament: an anniversary party full of academics.

Like most children, theirs was a relation based on verbs, not nouns.

My rage was the only thing keeping me awake, I was feeding off it in that righteous way you can if you never mention out loud the wrong you are being done.

Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.

Thirty years - almost all of them really happy. That's a lifetime, it's incredible. Most people don't get that. But maybe this is just over, you know? Maybe it's over...

There is a kind of desperate need for somebody to tell everyone what to do, which I find really peculiar in America. And then when you tell them, they're not interested, because it's also a country where everybody's opinion is their opinion, and they really don't give a damn what you think. So it's a very odd experience.

I'd decided to establish a new rule for myself: read for half an hour an evening, no matter what.

Maybe it doesn't matter that life never blossomed into something larger than itself.

I'm serious. I don't know how you work like that. My school shit is better organized, and I'm not in the business of World Domination.

All my books are made up of other books. They're all deeply structured on other fiction, because I was a student in fiction and I didn't have much actual living to draw on. I suspect a lot of other people's novels are like that, too, though they might be slower to talk about it.

But dying is no easy trick. And suicide can't be put on a list of Things To Do in between cleaning the grill pan and leveling the sofa leg with a brick. It is the decision not to do, to un-do; a kiss blown at oblivion. No matter what anyone says, suicide takes guts. It is for heroes and martyrs, truly vainglorious men.

He had not seen her since that afternoon. And with the miracle that is male compartmentalization he had barely thought of her either.

Poverty is not just a headline, my love, it's a lived reality, on the ground—and education is at the heart of it.

The lady was old, the lady was ill. It didn't matter what the lady believed.

Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

Don't confuse honours with achievement.

There is no bigger crime, in the English comic novel, than thinking you are right.

In short, it was precisely the kind of friendship and Englishman makes on holiday, that he can make only on holiday. A friendship that crosses class and color, a friendship that takes as its basis physical proximity and survives because the Englishman assumes the physical proximity will not continue.

Magical thinking makes you crazy — and renders everything possible.

Either everything is sacred or nothing is. And if he starts burning other people's things, then he loses something sacred also. Everyone gets what's coming, sooner or later.

Within our intimacy, I could not be a girl, nor could I be anyone's baby, I could only be a female human, and the sex I understood was of the kind that occurs between friends and equals, bracketing conversation, like a shelf of books between bookends.

Maybe it doesn't matter that life never blossomed into something larger than itself. Moored to the shore she set out from, as almost all women were, once.

Here lie a man and a woman. The man is more beautiful than the woman. And for this reason there have been times when the woman has feared that she loves the man more than he loves her. He has always denied this.

I am seized by two contradictory feelings: there is so much beauty in the world it is incredible that we are ever miserable for a moment; there is so much shit in the world that it is incredible we are ever happy for a moment.

It dawned on me that he saw me as a sort of child, someone to be treated with kid gloves and presented with reality by degrees.