If you don't know what it feels like to have someone you love put a hand below your bottom rib for the first time, what chance is there for love?

Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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To walk into a modern-day bookstore is a little bit like studying a single photograph out of the infinite number of photographs that cold be taken of the world: It offers the reader a frame.

I finally understood that no matter what I did, or who I found, I-he-none of us-would ever be able to win over the memories she had of Dad, memories that soothed her even while they made her sad, because she'd built a world out of them she knew how to survive on even if no one else could.

She was gone, and all that was left was the space where you'd grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence.

There were other refugees around him experiencing the same fears and helplessness, but Litvinoff didn't find any comfort in this because there are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone. Litvinoff preferred to be alone.

All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen.

Wittgenstein once wrote that when the eye sees something beautiful, the hand wants to draw it. I wish I could draw you.

Then one day I was looking out the window. Maybe I was contemplating the sky. Put even a fool in front of the window and you'll get a Spinoza.

When your pants are down around your ankles, that's when everyone arrives.

I scowled at the world. And the world scowled back. We were locked in a stare of mutual disgust.

Bruno, my old faithful. I haven't sufficiently described him. Is it enough to say he is indescribable? No. Better to try and fail than not to try at all.

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

What I lost is, in the grand scope of things, almost... negligible. It's true that there's grief: it wakes me in a cold sweat thinking,, Who was I? What did I care about? What did I find funny sad, stupid, painful? Was I happy? All of those memories I accumulated, gone. Which one, if there could have been only one, would I have kept?

The memories were too perfect: take one detail away and they collapsed into disorder.

There are times when the kindness of strangers only makes things worse because one realizes how badly one is in need of kindness and that the only source is a stranger.