As any student of literature knows, the books that last are often not the books that are most popular when they are written. Both 'Moby Dick' and 'The Great Gatsby' were complete failures, critically and commercially, when they first appeared.

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

I have no useful theories about love and marriage.

He is still, at times, astonished by her. She may be the most intelligent woman in England, he thinks. Her books may be read for centuries.

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

Who has more power than a child? She can be as cruel as she wants to be. He can't.

Sometimes the fabric that separates us tears just enough for love to shine through. Sometimes the tear is surprisingly small.

There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more.

I feel like there's something terrible and wonderful and amazing that's just beyond my grasp. I have dreams about it. I do dream, by the way. It hovers over me at odd moments. And then it's gone. I feel like I'm always on the brink of something that never arrives. I want to either have it or be free of it.

Our hopes may seem unrealized, but we were in all likelihood hoping for the wrong thing.

I think pretty much everybody who says he needs money really and truly needs money.

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.

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

It seems good enough; parts seem very good indeed. She has lavish hopes, of course—she wants this to be her best book, the one that finally matches her expectations.

You know, if you're hopeful, if you're even a little bit happy about something that might happen, it doesn't affect the outcome. You could still give yourself a period of optimism, even if it all falls apart.

I'm just a child who's learned to impersonate an adult.