Damned thing, self-consciousness, like a pitiful stray dog tagging you down the road—so hard to shake off. So easy to get back.

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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Poor thing, thought Garnett, to have to commit yourself so hard to one moment of poor judgment.

At home, growing up, we weren't really poor. We had everything we needed, we just didn't have what we wanted.

Everything, she wanted to scream at him, was a question of safety. All human endeavor bent itself to the same lost cause. Being kept inside a pumpkin shell your whole life was no guarantee against getting flung into space.

I've been thinking about that. About how your kids aren't really yours, they're just these people that you try to keep an eye on, and hope you'll all grow up someday to like each other and still be in one piece.

Sometimes history cleaves and for one helpless moment stands still like the pause when the ax splits a log and the two halves rest on end waiting to fall.

The war's [World War II] end has left America with loads of get-up-and-go, and no place to go.

I don't know how you go on, but I really hope you'll keep doing it. That you won't give up esperanza. I thought of that last night. Esperanza is all you get, no second chances. What you have to do is try and think of reasons to stick it out.

Here comes Moses tromping down off Mount Syanide with ten fresh ways to wreck your life.

How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.

Eaters must understand, Wendell Berry writes, that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.

Everyone wants the tallest tree to fall.

Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side. Betrayal is a friend I have known a long time, a two-faced goddess looking forward and back with a clear, earnest suspicion of good fortune.

I've about decided that's the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you're a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.

Man against Nature...Of all the possible conflicts, that was the one that was hopeless. Even a slim education had taught her this much: Man loses.