Alice Sebold Quotes


Out loud I said I had two children. Silently I said three. I always felt like apologizing to her for that.

He took the hat from my mouth. ''Tell me you love me'' he said. Gently I did. The end came anyway

Our only kiss was like an accident- a beautiful gasoline rainbow.

The living deserve attention too

I'm just a friendly bystander who they occasionally ask questions of. That's my level of involvement.

When I was raped I lost my virginity and almost lost my life. I also discarded certain assumptions I had held about how the world worked and about how safe I was.

The alcohol had the effect of making the black cloth blacker. This amused her; she had noted in her journal: "booze affects material as it does people.

Who would have thought something that happened that long ago could have such power?

There wasn't a lot of bullshit in my heaven.

She liked to imagine that when she passed the world looked after her but she also knew how anonymous she was.

Thereâ??s no condition one adjusts to so quickly as a state of war.

I have always felt extremely weird. But I am very happy with my weirdnesses and I want other people to be very happy with theirs.

But she was waiting patiently. She no longer believed in talk. It never rescued anything. At seventy she had come to believe in time alone. ~pg 254

I stared at her black hair. It was shiny like the promises in magazines.

As she brought prospective buyers through the realtor said it was an oil stain but it was me seeping out of the bag.

The shadow of years was not as big on his small body. He knew I was away . But when people left they always came back.

It's very weird to succeed at thirty-nine years old and realize that in the midst of your failure you were slowly building the life that you wanted anyway.

I wake up very early in the morning. I like to start in the dark and I never work at night because my brain is evaporated by 4 P.M.

People grow up by living.

I loved the way the burned-out flashcubes of the Kodak Instamatic marked a moment that had passed one that would now be gone forever except for a picture.

I'd like to go back to poetry again. I really really revere good poetry. It's been my private discipline.

The sun came through the branches of the tree above her and Ruth looked up past them. "I think she listens " she said too softly to be heard.

You save yourself or you remain unsaved.

Your first kiss is destiny knocking.

I left my mark on that man.

I wish you all a long and happy life

She no longer believed in talk. It never rescued anything.

Loss could be used as a measure of beauty in a woman.

To transform experience and thought into language and narrative - that is beautiful even if that beauty is in brokenness.

You could not be filled with hate and be beautiful. Like any other girl I wanted to be beautiful. But I was filled with hate.

A father's suspicion...' she began. Is as powerful as a mother's intuition.' ~pg 87 Ruana Singh and Jack Salmon

She didn't even have to smile and she rarely did outside her house--it was the eyes her dancer's carriage the way she seemed to deliberate over the smallest movement of her body.

Nothing is ever certain.

I find talking about my work harder than it might be if honesty wasn't my calling card.

To me the idea of heaven would give you certain pleasures certain joys - but it's very important to have an intellectual understanding of why you want those things.

He would find his Susie inside his young son. Give that love to the living.

How to Commit the Perfect Murder" was an old game in heaven. I always chose the icicle: the weapon melts away.

I went to church irregularly and was mostly reading comics in the pew.

He had a moment of clarity about how life should be lived: not as a child or as a woman. They were the two worst things to be.

I was like I was in science class: I was curious.

I live in a world where two truths coexist: where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand

I was in the air around him. I was in the cold mornings he had now. I was in the quiet time he spent alone. I was the girl he had chosen to kiss. He wanted somehow to set me free. -Susie Salmon

He had been my almost. My might-have-been. I was afraid of what I wanted most - His kiss. Still I collected kiss stories. -Susie Salmon

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.

Heaven is comfort but it's still not living.

I think you only learn what kind of personality you have by committing to things.

Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained.

I had always been in love with him. I counted the lashes of each closed eye. He had been my almost my might have been and I did not want to leave him

In my 20s I railed against anything 'spiritual' I thought it was all crap

Part of the creative process for me is an invitation for readers to follow their imagination.

Sometimes you cry Susie even when someone you love has been gone a long time.

Those who say they would rather fight to the death than be raped are fools. I would rather be raped a thousand times. You do what you have to.

One thing about failing repeatedly: If you're still doing it after you've failed that much you really mean it.

If I shut my eyes I believed I would disappear. To make it through I had to be present the whole time.

Please don't let Daddy die Susie " he whispered. "I need him.

Tess was my first experience of a woman who had inhabited her weirdness moved into the areas of herself that made her distinct from those around her and learned how to display them proudly.

I dont think ignorance is a way that you gain distance on something.

Each time I told my story I lost a bit the smallest drop of pain.

We all work hard to understand the dynamic relationship we have with a parent.

The damage can fester under layers of time and change and an ignorant thoughtless remark can easily reopen the wound.

Every day a question mark.

Poison and medicine are often the same thing given in different proportions

Since then I've always thought that under rape in the dictionary it should tell the truth. It is not just forcible intercourse; rape means to inhabit and destroy everything.

Well as my dad would say it means sheâ??s out of this shithole.

At fourteen my sister sailed away from me into a place Iâ??d never been. In the walls of my sex there was horror and blood in the walls of hers there were windows.

I wanted to be the moron of the family because morons seemed to have more fun more freedom and more personality.

What did dead mean Ray wondered. It meant lost it meant frozen it meant gone.

Murderers are not monsters they're men. And that's the most frightening thing about them.

I fell in love with you again; While you were away - Jack Salmon

How could it be that you could love someone so much and keep it secret from yourself as you woke daily so far from home?

There was one thing my murderer didn't understand; he didn't understand how much a father could love his child.

Do you miss Susie?" Because it was dark because Ruth was facing away from her because Ruth was almost a stranger Lindsey said what she felt. "More than anyone will ever know.

My name is Salmon like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered.

I like gardening - it's a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.

I'm gradually working through my obsessions and maybe when they're all free and clear I'll write a comedy. But I'm not there yet.

You look invincible ' my mother said one night. I loved these times when we seemed to feel the same thing. I turned to her wrapped in my thin gown and said: I am.

I think understanding is the way to gain perspective - and therefore can live among those hideous realities. You can live with them.

This little girl's grown up by now she said.Almost.Not quite.I wish you all a long and happy life.

Hey Ocean Eyes â? my father said. â??Whereâ??d you go on us?

He was beginning to understand: You were treated special and later something horrible would be told to you.

I would do exactly what you are doing: I would talk to everyone I needed to I would not tell too many people his name. When I was sure " she said "I would find a quiet way and I would kill him.

And my sister my Lindsey left me in her memories where I was meant to be.

I forgive you " I said. I said what I had to. I would die by pieces to save myself from real death.

I have never been shy about listening to the input of others and weighing it seriously.

I would like to tell you that I am and you will one day be forever safe.

Like a medical procedure ' Ruth said. 'Intricate surgery is needed to patch up the planet.

As if in the other side of his kiss there could ve a new life

You're not supposed to look back you're supposed to keep going.

All you have to do is desire it and if you desire it enough and understand why -- really know -- it will come.

She wasn't actually speaking to me she was singing a kind of lullaby of talk. But eventually the music stopped.

Then a little voice in him said Let go let go let go

What I think was hardest for me to realize was that he had tried each time to stop himself. He had killed animals taking lesser lives to keep from killing a child

I'm fine with whatever comes my way and whatever doesn't come my way I'm fine with too. I have a very laissez-faire attitude with the whole thing.

I missed her then but it was an odd sort of missing because by then I knew the meaning of forever.

I was the girl he had chosen to kiss. He wanted somehow to set me free. He didn't want to burn my photo or toss it away but he didn't want to look at me anymore either.

As she stood in the darkened room and watched my sister and father I knew one of things that heaven meant. I had a choice and it was not to divide my family in my heart.

Murder had a blood red door on the other side of which was everything unimaginable to everyone.

I had rescued the moment by using my camera and in that way had found how to stop time and hold it. No one could take that image away from me because I owned it.

It's hard because when you talk about process or your characters ruling your narrative it sounds like you have no control but obviously you're ultimately the author so you do have control.

Life is a perpetual yesterday for us.

So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything.

I was trying to prove to them and to myself that I was still who I had always been. I was beautiful if fat. I was smart if loud. I was good if ruined.

When the dead are done with the living the living can go on to other things " Franny said. "What about the dead?" I asked. "Where do we go?

but he also said it because part of him wanted more of her this cold woman who was not exactly cold this rock who was not stone.

Between a man and a woman there was always one person who was stronger than the other one. That doesnâ??t mean the weaker one doesnâ??t love the stronger.

Learn a language of another country and then you can go to that country: a place where the problems of your family will not follow. A language they do not speak.