Barrett strokes one of the chair's slick, bile-green arms. "You can get attached to just about anything, can't you?" he says.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I cant go on spoiling your life any longer. I dont think two people could have been happier than we have been.

Parents are the mystified criminals, blinking in the docks, making it all the worse for themselves with every word they utter.

You want to give him the book of his own life, the book that will locate him, parent him, arm him for the changes.

But magic is sometimes all about knowing where the secret door is, and how to open it. With that, you're gone.

Beauty - the beauty Peter craves - is this, then: a human bundle of accidental grace and doom and hope. Mizzy must have hope, he must, he wouldn't shine like this if he were in true despair, and of course he's young, who in this world despairs more exquisitely than the young, it's something the old tend to forget.

You don't have to matter any more than you do right now.

Her cake is a failure, but she is loved anyway. She is loved, she thinks, in more or less the way the gifts will be appreciated: because they have been given with good intentions , because they exist, because they are part of a world in which one wants what one gets.

I just don't feel much interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Here is what unsayable about us: Jonathan and I are members of a team so old nobody else could join even if we wanted them to. What binds us is stronger than sex. It is stronger than love. We're related. Each of us is the other born into a different flesh.

It's the solitude that slays you. Maybe because you'd expected ruin to arrive in a grander and more romantic form.

Then the feeling moves on. It does not collapse; it is not whisked away. It simply moves on, like a train that stops at a small country station, stands for a while, and then continues out of sight.

That is what we do. That is what people do. They stay alive for each other.

I encourage the translators of my books to take as much license as they feel that they need. This is not quite the heroic gesture it might seem, because I've learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself.

He pours himself more coffee, draws out a final, really final, line on the tabletop. Maybe he's just not … awake enough to be gifted. Maybe one day, why not today, he'll bust out of his lifelong drowse.