I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end. But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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She is overtaken by a sensation of unbeing. There is no other word for it.

Here's the sting of livingness. He's back after his nightly voyage of sleep, all clarity and purpose; he's renewed his citizenship in the world of people who strive and connect, people who mean business, people who burn and want, who remember everything, who walk lucid and unafraid.

Please, God, send me something to adore.

Here's a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they'd intended to write.

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

Constantine, eight years old, was working in his father's garden and thinking about his own garden, a square of powdered granite he had staked out and combed into rows at the top of his family's land.

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

There is no one there to see it. The world is doing what it always does, demonstrating itself to itself. The world has no interest in the little figures that come and go, the phantoms that worry and worship, that rake the graveled paths and erect the occasional rock garden, the bronze boy-man, the hammered cup for snow to fall into.

On a summer night it can be lovely to sit around outside with friends after dinner and, yes, read poetry to each other. Keats and Yeats will never let you down, but it's differently exciting to read the work of poets who are still walking around out there.

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.

The secret of flight is this -- you have to do it immediately, before your body realizes it is defying the laws.

A stray fact: insects are not drawn to candle flames, they are drawn to the light on the far side of the flame, they go into the flame and sizzle to nothingness because they're so eager to get to the light on the other side.

Tyler. His handsome, lion-eyed ravagement. His capacity for devotion. Which is so sexy. Why do so many gay men lack that? Why are they so distracted, so in love with the idea of more and more and then more, again?

Barrett is a bigger guy, not fat (not yet) but ursine, crimson of eye and lip; ginger-furred, possessed (he likes to think) of an enchanted sensual slyness, the prince transformed into wolf or lion, all slumbering large-pawed docility, awaiting, with avid yellow eyes, love's first kiss.