When you read to a child, when you put a book in a child's hands, you are bringing that child news of the infinitely varied nature of life. You are an awakener.
The minute you become conscious that you are doing good, that's the minute you have to stop because from then on it's wrong.
A good novel begins with a small question and ends with a bigger one.
Families hold each other in an iron grip of definition. One must break the grip, somehow.
Life is all getting used to what you're not used to.
we are, in this country, more open to new ideas. But we are also, it seems to me, more inclined to hail the new as absolute truth - until the next new comes along.
It was hard to reassure grown-ups when you weren't certain yourself what you were feeling and thinking—when thoughts dissolved before you could name them.
Teachers inspire the smallest hearts to grow big enough to change the world.
I was the goldfish that leapt out of the bowl.
Freedom is a public library.
Imagination has to do with one's awareness of the reality of other people as well as of one's own reality. Imagination is a bridge between the provincialism of the self and the great world.
The language of labels is like paper money, issued irresponsibly, with nothing of intrinsic value behind it, that is, with no effort of the intelligence to see, to really apprehend.
If a person had accused him of meanness, he could have defended himself. But with a dog - you did something cheap to it when you were sure no one was looking, and it was as though you had done it in front of a mirror.
When I begin a story at my desk, the window to my back, the path is not there. As I start to walk, I make the path.
There's a certain amount of tyranny in all of us to some extent, and in some people it's much more developed than in others. It's a different balance which makes us all different.
My father brought me a box of books once when I was about three and a half or four. I remember the carton they were in and the covers with illustrations by Newell C. Wyeth.
I've always known a lot of very bad people, destructive, brutes of a certain kind. Then I've seen these lovely impulses and what not, and they've stayed with me and comforted me.
I taught writing classes at the University of Pennsylvania for a number of years and I realized that all you can do is encourage people and give them assignments and hope they will write them.
I don't know what makes a writer's voice. It's dozens of things. There are people who write who don't have it. They're tone-deaf, even though they're very fluent. It's an ability, like anything else, being a doctor or a veterinarian, or a musician.
Literature is the province of imagination, and stories, in whatever guise, are meditations on life.
You'll see some bad things, but if you didn't see them, they'd still be happening.
People steal into one's consciousness and occupy what seems, in retrospect, to have been their place all along.
There was no way to grasp the reality of the present which slid away each second, invisible as air; reality only existed after the fact, in one's vision of the past.
A lie hides the truth. A story tries to find it.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one-day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
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