At times I believed that the last page of my book and the last page of my life were one and the same.

Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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The truth is the thing I invented so that I could survive.

She struggled with her sadness, but tried to conceal it, to divide it into smaller and smaller parts and scatter these in places she thought no one would find them.

I had the most rare of feelings, the sense that the world, so consistently overwhelming and incomprehensible, in fact had an order, oblique as it may seem, and I a place within it.

For her I changed pebbles into diamonds, shoes into mirrors, I changed glass into water, I gave her wings and pulled birds from her ears and in her pockets she found the feathers, I asked a pear to become a pineapple, a pineapple to become a lightbulb, a lightbulb to become the moon, and the moon to become a coin I flipped for her love...

In life we sit at the table and refuse to eat, and in death we are eternally hungry.

The third movement is one of the most moving passages ever written, and I've never listened to it without feeling as if I alone have been lifted up on the shoulders of some giant creature touring the charred landscape of all human feeling.

He wondered if what he had taken for the richness of silence was really the poverty of never being heard.

Why is it that there was always a unit on history, math, science and god knows what other useless, totally forgettable information you taught those seventh graders year after year, but never any unit on death? No exercises, no workbooks, no final exams on the only subject that matters?

Having begun to feel, people's desire to feel grew. They wanted to feel more, feel deeper, despite how it sometimes hurt. People became addicted to feeling. They struggled to uncover new emotions.

Larger than life...I've never understood that expression. What's larger than life?

I took a drink, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, repeating the gesture that was made a hundred times by my father and his father and his father's father, eyes half closed as the sharpness of the alcohol replaced the sharpness of grief.

I would have let him go one finger at a time, until, without his realizing, he'd be floating without me. And then I thought, perhaps that is what it means to be a [parent] - to teach your child to live without you.

And so he did the hardest thing he'd ever done in his life: he picked up his hat and walked away.

It would mark the end of a year that he might look back on as hands, a pivot between two lines. Or not: maybe enough time, would pass that eventually he would look back on his life, all of it, as a series of events both logical and continuous.