I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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There is still that singular perfection, and its perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.

Most of us can be counted on to manage our own undoings.

You live with the threat of my extinction. I live with it too.

Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together.

Were you relieved, maybe just a little, when they lifted you up (you weighed almost nothing by then) and shoved you into the oven? Did it seem unanticipated but right, somehow - did it strike you as satisfying, as a fate finally realized - when they slammed the door behind you?

Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book.

It was either the wind or the spirit of the house itself, briefly unsettled by our nocturnal absence but to old to be surprised by the errands born from the gap between what we can imagine and what we can in fact create.

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.

Most of us are safe. If you're not a delirious dream the gods are having, if your beauty doesn't trouble the constellations, nobody's going to cast a spell on you.

He knows about damage the way a woman does. He knows, the way a woman knows, how to carry on as if nothing's wrong.

I had blundered again, obscurely, and rather than go on worrying over my behavior, I decided to just give in and dislike Alice.

I remember one morning getting up at dawn. There was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling. And I... I remember thinking to myself: So this is the beginning of happiness, this is where it starts. And of course there will always be more...never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment, right then.

Catherine thought Simon was in the locket, and in heaven, and with them still. Lucas hoped she didn't expect him to be happy about having so many Simons to contend with.

This is what you do. You make a future for yourself out of the raw material at hand.