"Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial."
"There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you’ve reached it. I believe this."
— ― Alice Munro
"Mom loved my brother more. Not that she didn’t love me - I felt the wash of her love every day, pouring over me, but it was a different kind, siphoned from a different, and tamer, body of water. I was her darling daughter; Joseph was her it."
— Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
"When I desire you a part of me is gone…"
— Anne Carson
"That was another world they had been in, surely. As much as any world concocted on the stage. Their flimsy arrangement, their ceremony of kisses, the foolhardy faith enveloping them that everything would sail ahead as planned. Move an inch this way or that, in such a case, and you’re lost."
— Alice Munro, Tricks
"Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it."
— David Foster Wallace
"Is it possible to love so desperately that life is unbearable? I don’t mean unrequited, I mean being in the love. In the midst of it and desperate. Because knowing it will end, because everything does. End."
— Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
"She put her two hands over her ribs to hold her heart in place and also out of modesty to quiet its immodest thud. Then they went to bed in the bedroom and made love until that noisy disturbance ended. She couldn’t hear one interior sound. Therefore they slept."
— Grace Paley, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
"In truth, there are only two realities: the one for people who are in love or love each other, and the one for people who are standing outside all that."
— Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love
"When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part."
— John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
"the unreal is more powerful than the real. because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. stone crumbles. wood rots. people, well, they die. but things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. if you can change the way people think. the way they see themselves. the way they see the world. you can change the way people live their lives. that’s the only lasting thing you can create."
— Chuck Palahniuk, Choke