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I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.


Margaret Atwood

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The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.
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If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you ...
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Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
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A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.
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The myth that everyone once read great literature is just a myth.
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Like many modern poets, I tend to conceal rhymes by placing them in the middle of lines, and to avoi...
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Already my childhood seemed far away—a remote age, faded and bittersweet, like dried flowers. Did ...
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I feel like the word shatter.
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
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Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I'm a realist.
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An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.
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They've removed anything you can tie a rope to.
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When you can't tell the difference between your own pleasure and your pain then you're an addict.
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The thing about delirium is you think it's great, but it actually isn't.
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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards grind you down.
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There's nothing like a shovel full of dirt to encourage literacy.
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We were revisionists; what we revised was ourselves.
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I am not your justification for existence.
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Roz is crying again. What she's mourning is her own good will. She tried so hard, she tried so hard ...
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Already they're the objects of narrow sideways looks, as if they had something to do with it; alread...
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She has never been in the presence, before, of two people who are in love with each other. She feels...
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She had an idea, but it was the wrong idea. It was hardly even an idea, just a white idea balloon wi...
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He doesn't know what is worse, a past he can't regain or a present that will destroy him it he looks...
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I follow suit, said the lion,
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All fiction is about people, unless it's about rabbits pretending to be people. It's all ess...
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From her handbag she takes a round gilt compact with violets on the cover. She opens it, unclosing h...
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The trouble is all in the knob at the top of our bodies. I’m not against the body or the head eith...
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The reason they invented coffins, to lock the dead in, preserve them, they put makeup on them; they ...
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I would rather dance as a ballerina, though faultily, than as a flawless clown.
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Madness is only an amplification of what you already are.
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I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.
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They all disowned their parents long ago, the way you are supposed to
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The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose
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He's very in depth, on the dark side. He's interested in structure and how things work. After readin...
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The Orange prize has been pivotal in the careers of many women writers - it's given them that extra ...
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What were prizes but one more level of control imposed on Art by the establishment?
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After they had skated around the pond several times, my father asked my mother to marry him. I expec...
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A writer's age at the time of a work's composition is never irrelevant.
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As soon as you have a language that has a past tense and a future tense you're going to say, ...
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She would roll up her sleeves and dispense with sentimentality, and do whatever blood-soaked, bad-sm...
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How could I have been so ignorant? she thinks. So stupid, so unseeing, so given over to carelessness...
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Better never means better for everyone... It always means worse, for some.
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I particularly like Twitter, because it's short and can be very funny and informative. It's ...
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Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we're still alive. We wish to assert...
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It wasn't so easy though, ending the war. A war is a huge fire; the ashes from it drift far, and set...
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Should is a futile word. It's about what didn't happen. It belongs in a parallel universe. It...
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Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.
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Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.
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You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
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No one knows what cuases an outer landscape to become an inner one.
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Was this a betrayal, or was it an act of courage? Perhaps both. Neither one involves forethought: su...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Time is compressed like the fist I close on my knee... I hold inside it the clues and solutions and ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I've never bought into any sort of hard and fast, this-box/that-box characterization. People are...
MARGARET ATWOOD
'1984' is not a wonder tale. Not only could it happen, but it has happened, but under differ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
A home filled with nothing but yourself. It's heavy, that lightness. It's crushing, that emptiness.
MARGARET ATWOOD
The story as told in The Odyssey doesn't hold water. There are too many inconsistencies.
MARGARET ATWOOD
If your not annoying somebody, you're not alive.
MARGARET ATWOOD
My self is a thing that I must now compose...as one composes a speech. What I must present is a 'mad...
MARGARET ATWOOD
For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.
MARGARET ATWOOD
Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window cloud...
MARGARET ATWOOD
It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.
MARGARET ATWOOD
I know that some books and some writers, you can pretty much draw a square around it and say, 'N...
MARGARET ATWOOD
There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name....
MARGARET ATWOOD
The internet is 95 percent porn and spam
MARGARET ATWOOD
You know I love you. You're the only one."

"She isn't the first woman he's ever said that...
MARGARET ATWOOD
The trouble some people have being German, I thought, I have being human. In a way it was stupid to ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
The heart with letters on it shining like a light bulb through the trim hole painted in the chest, a...
MARGARET ATWOOD
There's more than one way to skin a cat, my father used to say; it bothered me, I didn't see why the...
MARGARET ATWOOD
We battled in secret, undeclared, and after a while I no longer fought back because I never won. The...
MARGARET ATWOOD
This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I can do nothing.
MARGARET ATWOOD
Every Canadian has a complicated relationship with the United States, whereas Americans think of Can...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Two-thirty comes during Testifying. It's Janine, telling about how she was gang-raped at fourteen an...
MARGARET ATWOOD
A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.
MARGARET ATWOOD
By now you know: I come from another planet. But I will never say to you, "Take me to your leaders."...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Art is long and life is brief and mortality looms.
MARGARET ATWOOD
He wants to see, he wants to know, only to see and know. I'm aware that it is this mentality, this c...
MARGARET ATWOOD
If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I didn't know I was about to be left with her idea of me; with her idea of my goodness pinned onto m...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Stick a shovel in the ground almost anywhere and some horrible thing or other will come to light.
MARGARET ATWOOD
The minimalist life. Pleasure is an egg. Blessings that can be counted, on the fingers of one hand. ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Speculative fiction encompasses that which we could actually do. Sci-fi is that which we're prob...
MARGARET ATWOOD
If you're waiting for the perfect moment, you'll never write a thing because it will never a...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Anybody who writes a book is an optimist. First of all, they think they're going to finish it. Secon...
MARGARET ATWOOD
The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one.
MARGARET ATWOOD
There is something powerful in the whispering of obscenities, about those in power. There's somethin...
MARGARET ATWOOD
There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.
MARGARET ATWOOD
Women have curious ways of hurting someone else. They hurt themselves instead; or else they do it so...
MARGARET ATWOOD
But people will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning. No use, that is. No ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I’m not used to girls, or familiar with their customs. I feel awkward around them, I don’t know ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
How could I be sleeping with this particular man.... Surely only true love could justify my lack of ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Publishing a book is like stuffing a note into a bottle and hurling it into the sea. Some bottles dr...
MARGARET ATWOOD
but nothing I ever gave was good for you;
it was like white bread to goldfish.
they cram a...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I'm a person of whim, and easily distracted. I don't like multitasking. When I'm doing o...
MARGARET ATWOOD
The proper study of Mankind is Everything.
MARGARET ATWOOD
Nature is an expert in cost-benefit analysis,' she says. 'Although she does her accounting a little ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you ...
MARGARET ATWOOD
It is shocking how many crimes the Bible contains. The Governor's wife should cut them all out and p...
MARGARET ATWOOD
I remember the rules, rules that were never spelled out but every woman knew: Don't open your door t...
MARGARET ATWOOD