Jeanette Winterson Quotes


Academics love to make theories about a body of work but each book consumes the writer and is the sum of his or her world.

To create was a fundament to appreciate a supplement.

Art is enchantment and artists have the right of spells.

Writing has to have a great deal of certainty and self-assurance but it's not arrogant.

Today we are all speeding under the golden arms of the arches into our city into our lives into the world that is a stream of information ceaselessly collected and projected.

August. We were arguing. You want love to be like this every day don't you? 92 degrees even in the shade.

Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle.

With animal behavior they're all fine until you introduce some rogue element into the cage and then they go crazy.

You know every cell in our bodies is completely renewed every seven years so how can we talk about being the same person? We're absolutely not.

Every believer is an anarchist at heart. True believers would rather see governments topple and history rewritten than scuff the cover of their faith.

I was the place where you anchored. I was the deep water where you could be weightless. I was the surface where you saw your own reflection. You scooped me up in your hands.

Book collecting is an obsession an occupation a disease an addiction a fascination an absurdity a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.

Love ... Just Nature's way of getting one person to pay the bills for another person.

You said 'I love you.' Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear?

In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.

It is silence that most needs an answering -- when I can no longer speak hear me.

You were in my arms for the first time and you said my name 'Tristan.' I answered you: 'Isolde.' Isolde. The world became a word.

Books and doors are the same thing. You open them and you go through into another world.

There's so little wonder left in the world because we've seen everything one way or another'.

To create a past that seemed authentic but would be a fiction you need an invented language.

There's something about the authenticity rather than the autobiography that makes my story and my pain move across and become your story and your pain.

There's no such thing as autobiography there's only art and lies

Ordinary professionalism and 20 years' experience can accomplish a lot but it can't access the hidden places.

Not much touches us but we long to be touched. We lie awake at night willing the darkness to part and show us a vision.

She was fragile gentle wide awake in a sleeping world.

You never give away your heart; you lend it from time to time. If it were not so how could we take it back without asking?

Slightest accidents open up new worlds.

If art all art is concerned with truth then a society in denial will not find much use for it.

I want to be an art-hero - I want to change the form of the novel.

The rebellion of art is a daily rebellion against the state of living death routinely called real life.

I knew it like destiny and at the same time I knew it as choice.

The fact is that every atom that we're made of is part of that first explosion of a nuclear star billions of years ago. We're connected to the entire universe.

The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home like all the men who now live with mermaids at the bottom of the sea.Or the people who found Atlantis.

Atlas said 'Must my future be so heavy?' Hera said 'That is your present Atlas. Your future hardens every day but it is not fixed.' 'How can I escape my fate?' 'You must choose your destiny.

Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not.

I never cared about money.

Meatspace still has some advantages for a carbon-based girl.

Age is information failure. The body loses fluency.

Organized religion is a very bad way of passing on spiritual values because it becomes so corrupted with political and repressive agendas which don't help anybody to develop their spirituality.

After every ''victory'' you have more enemies.

I don't know which is worse: to be wrongfully accused or mistakenly understood.

To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.

If we had the courage to love we would not so value these acts of war.

Although I sometimes pose as a fight animal I'm really a flight animal.

Although wherever you are going is always in front of you there is no such thing as straight ahead.

I am getting much more political as I get older. It's the duty of any writer in particular not to stand back from the world.

Your weak point is the open vulnerable place where you can always be hurt. Love in all its aspects opens the self so fully.

True stories are the ones that lie open at the border allowing a crossing a further frontier. The final frontier is just science fiction--don't believe it. Like the universe there is no end.

I don't understand why people talk of art as a luxury when it's a mind-altering possibility.

There is a certain seductiveness about dead things. You can ill treat alter and recolour what's dead. It won't complain.

As a writer if you're prepared to work from your own wound you're allowing people into the most vulnerable parts of yourself.

I felt like a seed in a pomegranate. Some say that the pomegranate was the real apple of Eve fruit of the womb I would eat my way into perdition to taste you.

Fall for me as an apple falls as rain falls because you must. Use gravity to anchor your desire.

I think we still believe that ambition is for boys.

In a world where meaning is often absent or imposed reading offers a dialogue with ourselves with society with history and with the dead.

This is a quantum universe ... neither random nor determined. It is potential at every second. All you can do is intervene.

But not all dark places need light I have to remember that.

Life has never been All or Nothing- it's All and Nothing. Forget the binaries.

Shuttered like a fan no-one suspects your shoulder blades of wings.

When she bleeds the smells I know change colour. There is iron in her soul on those days. She smells like a gun.

When a woman gives birth her waters break and she pours out the child and the child runs free.

I know from my own experience that suicide is not what it seems. Too easy to try to piece together the fragmented life. The spirit torn in bits so that the body follows.

She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist if she dared to find it.

That walls should fall is the consequence of blowing your own trumpet.

Fragile creatures of a small blue planet surrounded by light years of silent space.

Walls protect and walls limit. It is in the nature of walls that they should fall. That walls should fall is the consequence of blowing your own trumpet.

The body shuts down when it has too much to bear; goes its own way quietly inside waiting for a better time leaving you numb and half alive.

Language always betrays us tells the truth when we want to lie and dissolves into formlessness when we would most like to be precise.

The most prosaic of us betray a belief in the inward life every time we talk about 'my body' rather than 'I.

Life cannot be calculated. That's the big mistake our civilization made. We never accepted that randomness is not a mistake in the equation -- it is part of the equation.

When I say 'I will be true to you' I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires.

Somewhere between fear and sex passion is.

They believed that if a mouse found your hair clippings and built a nest with them you got a headache. If the nest was big enough you might go mad.

the buddhists say there are 149 ways to god. i'm not looking for god only for myself and that is far more complicated.

We live in a world of buy it or leave it. Love does not signify.

There is no sense in loving someone you can never wake up to except by chance.

Their throats were bare for God.

We bury things so deep we no longer remember there was anything to bury. Our bodies remember. Our neurotic states remember. But we don't.

Only a fool tries to reconstruct a bunch of grapes from a bottle of wine.

I keep myself locked as a box when it matters and broken open when it doesn't matter at all.

Whatever it is that pulls the pin that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty even for a moment it is enough

I don't read reviews because by then it's too late - whatever anyone says the book won't change. It is written.

I believe in communication; books communicate ideas and make bridges between people.

A bridge is a meeting place . . . a possibility a metaphor.

It is not possible to control the outside of yourself until you have mastered your breathing space. It is not possible to change anything until you understand the substance you wish to change.

Passion is not well bred.

What would it have meant to be happy? What would it have meant if things had been bright clear good between us?

unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven.

This is not a love story but love is in it. That is love is just outside it looking for a way to break in.

I wanted to write a new fable and see how many rules you could break.

the power of a text is not time-bound. The words go on doing their work.

What's invisible to us is also crucial for our own well-being.

Like all familiar objects it had become invisible.

Naked is the best disguise.

A book is a magic carpet that flies you off somewhere. A book is a door. You open it. You step through. Do you come back?

The journey is not linear it is always back and forth denying the calendar the wrinkles and lines of the body.

Creative work is incredibly difficult and that is where the tests lie.

I don't believe in happy endings.

Yes the past is another country but one that we can visit and once there we can bring back the things we need.

I like to think the price I paid by being open about my private life helped.

By betrayal I mean promising to be on your side then being on somebody else's.

I like to look at how people work together when they are put into stressful situations when life stops being cozy.

When people looked at him they had the feeling of being shut out. He did not shut them out. He shut himself in.

Hopeless heart that thrives on paradox; that longs for the beloved and is secretly relieved when the beloved is not there.

The Humans is a laugh-and-cry book. Troubling thrilling puzzling believable and impossible. Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.

There will be a future. We believe in our unreality too strongly to give it up.

You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved.

And you? Now that I have discovered you? Beautiful dangerous unleashed. Still I try to hold you knowing that your body is faced with knives.

I have a theory that every time you make an important choice the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had.

Writers have to have a knack for listening. I need to be able to hear what is being said to me by the voices I create.

Nothing can be forgotten. Nothing can be lost. The universe itself is one vast memory system. Look back and you will find the beginnings of the world.

Children do not find fault with their parents until later. In the beginning the love you get is the love that sets.

I know I've had an unusual beginning and a colourful life but that wouldn't matter if I couldn't make it speak to other people.

I used to think marriage was a plate-glass window just begging for a brick.

Part broken - part whole you begin again. ( from 'Why books seem shockproof against change.' THE TIMES: BOOKS)

Language is what stops the heart exploding.

Language is a finding-place not a hiding place.

Yes the stories are dangerous she was right. A book is a magic carpet that flies you off elsewhere. A book is a door. You open it. You step through. Do you come back?

Every word written is a net to catch the word that has escaped.

Whether you want to call it God or the mystery of the cosmos doesn't matter to me.

I live alone with cats books pictures fresh vegetables to cook the garden the hens to feed.

I wanted to cause trouble but I know now it stays with you.

It's the cliches that cause the trouble. A precise emotion seeks a precise expression.

If there's one thing I can't stand it's a hero without a cause. People like that just make trouble so that they can solve it.

I wanted to invent myself as a fictional character. And I did and it has caused a great deal of confusion.

If you continually write and read yourself as a fiction you can change what's crushing you.

For fate may hang on any moment and at any moment be changed.

I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things you must risk it.

He liked me because I am short. I flatter myself. He did not dislike me. He liked no one except Josephine and he liked her the way he liked chicken.

I never wanted children. If I'd been deeply in love with a man and he'd wanted children it would have been difficult.

What can i tell you about the choices we make? Fate reads like the polar opposite of decision and so much of life reads like fate.

I had relationships with men as well as women. I wasn't choosing; I didn't think I had to.

I have met a great many people on their way towards God and I wonder why they have chosen to look for him rather than themselves.

In the heat of her hands I thought This is the campfire that mocks the sun.

I seem to have run in a great circle and met myself again on the starting line.

Trust me I'm telling you stories. ... I can change the story. I am the story.

Mankind I hazard wherever found Civilized or Savage cannot keep to any purpose for much length of time except the purpose of destroying himself.

However it is debased or misinterpreted love is a redemptive feature. To focus on one individual so that their desires become superior to yours is a very cleansing experience.

You are a pool of clear water where the light plays

When we let ourselves respond to poetry to music to pictures we are clearing a space where new stories can root in effect we are clearing a space for new stories about ourselves.

I don't want to conquer you; I just want to climb you.

I hated historical novels with fluttering cloaks.

My friends and the people who are close to me know what I am. And that is enough.

I spin worlds where we could be together. I dream you. For me imagination and desire are very close.

I fell in love once if love be that cruelty which takes us straight to the gates of Paradise only to remind us they are closed for ever.

Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights; the accumulations of a lifetime gather there

It's hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment.

The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home.

Make three wishes and they shall all come true. Make three hundred and I will honour every one

Moss that is concentrating on being green.

Destiny is a worrying concept. I don't want to be fated I want to choose.

The mind will not believe in death perhaps because as far as the mind is concerned death never happens.

My books always begin with a sentence and an image - not necessarily connected.

I lay there stretched out looking at the one star visible through the tiny window of the room. Only connect. How can you do that when the connections are broken?

Capacity for love in its higher forms seems to be peculiarly human although even in humans it is still peculiar.

In therapy the therapist acts as a container for what we daren't let out because it is so scary or what lets itself out every so often and lays waste to our lives.

What is it that you contain? The Dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia. The expanding universe opening in your gut. Are your twenty-three feet of intestines loaded with stars?

The work that lasts over time is the work which still speaks to us when all contemporary interest in that work is extinct.

Children I suppose are always unfinished business: they begin as part of your own body and continue as separate as another continent.

The continuous narrative of existence is a lie. There is no continuous narrative there are lit-up moments and the rest is dark.

I think of myself in a continuum as a woman. Two hundred years ago it would have been very difficult for me to write at all.

I don't see myself as some kind of lone figure standing out there and doing my work in solitary splendour but as part of the human condition and part of the continuum of writers.

It is important not to force a character into something. Fiction writers can be too controlling - usually that's a terror of our own unconscious processes.

One room is always enough for one person. Two rooms is not enough for two people. That is one of the conundrums in life.

Memory loss is one way of coping with damage.

Part fact part fiction is what life is. And it is always a cover story. I wrote my way out.

The body can endure compromise and the mind can be seduced by it. Only the heart protests. The heart. Carbon-based primitive in a silicon world.

Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.

There are so many separate selves; no one who writes creatively hasn't felt that.

Trust your creativity.

Pain is very often a maimed creature without a mouth.

I find pieces of myself everywhere and I cut myself handling them.

do it from the heart or not at all.

Life is so simple when you're just doing your job.

I had huge ambition for literature. I don't see the point of doing anything if you don't have ambition for it.

There is no discovery without risk and what you risk reveals what you value.

Darkness as well as light. Or do I mean darkness another kind of light? Lucifer would say so and I have a weakness for fallen angels.

To avoid discovery I stay on the run. To discover things for myself I stay on the run...

When I was born my father wanted to drown me but my mother persuaded him to let me live in disguise to see if I could bring any wealth to the household.

I don't know how to answer. I know what I think but words in the head are like voices underwater. They are distorted.

I don't own my emotions unless I can think about them. I am not afraid of feeling but I am afraid of feeling unthinkingly. I don't want to drown. My head is my heart's lifebelt.

Many waters cannot quench love neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect.

I think of love as a force of nature-as strog as the sun as necessary as impersonal as gigantic as impossible as scorching as it is warming as drought-making as it is life-giving.

I dreamed I was a single moment in a single day. A note struck and vanished. A sounding. A reckoning. Gone.

Creativity is on the side of health - it isn't the thing that drives us mad; it is the capacity in us that tries to save us from madness.

We are lucky even the worst of us for daylight comes.

[Fiction and poetry] are medicines they're doses and they heal the rupture that reality makes on the imagination.

I'm not club-able you see. I don't like literary parties and literary gatherings and literary identities. I'd hate to join anything however loosely.

I don't write for any group. I write to bring about a change in consciousness.

Don't regret your life child it will pass soon enough.

Our own front door can be a wonderful thing or a sight we dread; rarely is it only a door.

Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing back to a place of innocence.

I have a head for heights it's true but no stomach for the depths. Strange then to have plumbed so many.

As your lover describes you so you are.

I would rather have regrets of excess than regrets of denial.

Very often history is a means of denying the past.

If I let them take away my demons I'll have to give up what I've found.

Art is a foreign city and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar. We have to recognize that the language of art all art is not our mother tongue.

I think people deceive themselves about themselves particularly as they get older.

Why is the mind incapable of deciding its own subject matter? Why when we desperately want to think of one thing to we invariably think of another?

Life was a pre-death experience.

I have found that I am not a space where people want to live at least not without decorating first.

I keep telling this story - different people different places different times - but always you always me always this story because a story is a tight rope between two worlds.

Everyone who tells a story tells it differently just to remind us that everybody sees it differently

You have to engage with people who are different from you and try to work with their thinking and their mind. That's a real challenge.

How easy it is to destroy the past and how difficult to forget it.

I have a list of titles that I leave at the [library] desk because they are bound to be written some day and it's best to be ahead of the queue.

I had been taught to look for monsters and devils and I found ordinary people.

You're never alone with a book are you? It's a dialogue.

What I want does exist if I dare to find it...

Now that I have lost you I cannot allow you to develop you must be a photograph not a poem.

Anything outside marriage seems like freedom and excitement.

Everyone thinks their own situation most tragic. I am no exception.

What you eat is the most political thing you do every day

Unconditional love is what a child should expect from a parent even though it rarely works out that way.

...to create was a fundament to appreciate a supplement. Once created the creature was separate from the creator and needed no seconding to fully exist.

Love is an experiment ... what happens next is always surprising.

I would eat my way into perdition to taste you.

Infatuation.First Love.Lust.My passion can be explained away.But this is sure: Whatever she touches she reveals

If you think about something for long enough ' she explained `more than likely that thing will happen.' She tapped her head. `It's all in the mind.

No emotion is the final one.

In my subconscious my books were part of a single emotional journey.

To tell someone not to be emotional is to tell them to be dead.

Nothing has an unlikely quality. It is heavy.

To me these days will never end. I am always there in that room with her or if not I the imprint of myself - my fossil-love

I choose this story above all others because it's a story I'm struggling to end.

Even the most solid of things and the most real the best-loved and the well-known are only hand shadows on the wall. Empty space and points of light.

Journalism encourages haste ... and haste is the enemy of art.

Only the impossible is worth the effort.

We don't go to Shakespeare to find out about life in Elizabethan England; we go to Shakespeare to find out about ourselves now.

Always in my books I like to throw that rogue element into a stable situation and then see what happens.

The impulse to worship is impossible to eradicate. Even the most prosaic have to worship something.

When I look at my life I realise that the mistakes I have made the things I really regret were not errors of judgement but failures of feeling.

The free man never thinks of escape.

There are only three possible endings -aren't there? - to any story: revenge tragedy or forgiveness. That's it. All stories end like that.

I think we are worlds compressed into human form.

Art can make a difference because it pulls people up short. It says don't accept things for their face value; you don't have to go along with any of this; you can think for yourself.

You cannot disown what is yours. Flung out there is always the return the reckoning the revenge perhaps the reconciliation. There is always the return.

You cannot disown what is yours. Flung out there is always the return the reckoning the revenge perhaps the reconciliation. There is always the return. And the wound will take you there.

I think it would be very foolish not to take the irrational seriously.

It is the nature of walls that they should fall.

A homosexual is further away from a woman than a rhinoceros.

Confidence and superiority: It's the usual fundamentalist stuff: I've got the truth and you haven't.

Misery pulls away the brackets of life leaving you to free fall.

Happy Valentines Day to those who have found love in whatever shape or form and to those who are still hunting don't give up. If you feel bad send yourself a card. You must be worth it...

I am much better at saying how I feel when I no longer feel it.

We fear passion and laugh at too much love and those who love too much. And still we long to feel.

I felt like a thief with a bagful of stolen glances.

When I fell in love it was as though I looked into a mirror for the first time and saw myself.

I fell into the books and left myself there for safekeeping.

Y'know Nature's unpredictable -- that's why we had to tame her. Maybe we went too far but in principle we made the right decision.

I looked at my palms trying to see the other life the parallel life. The point at which my selves broke away and one married a fat man and the other stayed here.

I didn't want to tell the story of myself but someone I called myself. If you read yourself as fiction it's rather more liberating than reading yourself as fact.

If you should leave me my heart will turn to water and flood away.

I dream of flight not to be as the angels are but to rise above the smallness of it all. The smallnesss that I am. Against the daily death the iconography of wings.

It may be that there was no reason or purpose for mankind must always be finding reasons where there are none and comfort in a purpose that hardly exists.

What is more humiliating than finding the object of your love unworthy?

Know thyself ' said Socrates. Know thyself ' said Sappho "?and make sure that the Church never finds out.

Wherever love is I want to be I will follow it as surely as the land-locked salmon finds the sea.

There is no greater grief than to find no happiness but happiness in what is past.

Quest is at the heart of what I do-the holy grail and the terror that you'll never find it seemed a perfect metaphor for life.

Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalization. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.

Marriage is the flimsiest weapon against desire. You may as well take a pop-gun to a python.

When it is time to get to work I go away completely and don't do anything except the work. And that can be 16 hours a day.

Unhappiness is selfish grief is selfish. For whom are the tears?

Life gives you enough hard knocks so it's unlikely you'll stay that sure of yourself.

History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing.

I go on writing so that I will always have something to read.

Where you are born--what you are born into the place the history of the place how that history mates with your own-- stamps who you are whatever the pundits of globalisation have to say.

Gambling is not a vice it is an expression of our humanness. We gamble. Some do it at the gaming table some do not. You play you win you play you lose. You play.

I am not tempted by God but I love his trappings.

I'm always nervous about going home just as I am nervous about rereading books that have meant a lot to me.

I've never been tempted by God but I like his trappings.

She had made him possible. In that sense she was his god. Like God she was neglected.

We are all historians in our small way.

He would love her if she were a wolf that tore out his heart. And he wondered what that said about love.

Passion is for holidays not homecoming.

The asynarte city; two rhythms unconnected profanity holiness and out of that strange bed art.

I have no idea what happens next

It may be that you are settled in another place it may be that you are happy but the one who took your heart wields final power.

Tell me a story Pew. What kind of story child? A story with a happy ending. There's no such thing in all the world. As a happy ending? As an ending.

To me life for all its privations is a luminous thing. You have to risk it.

In the library I felt better words you could trust and look at till you understood them they couldn't change half way through a sentence like people so it was easier to spot a lie.

What are you that makes me feel thus? Who are you for whom time has no meaning?

It is only habit and routine that makes the void look like purpose.

I hate the word lesbian; it tells you nothing; its only purpose is to inflame.

In this life you have to be your own hero.

History is a string full of knots the best you can do is admire it and maybe tie it up a bit more. History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing.

It is helpful for a woman artist not to have a husband.

That is what literature offers"?a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place.

What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free and the tame heart that wants to come home.

The truth is that love smashes into your life like an ice floe and even if your heart is built like the Titanic you go down.

It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say you will invent what you want to hear.

There are voices and they must be heard.

This hole in my heart is in the shape of you. No one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?

In the presence of love hearth and quest become one.

I didn't mind being unpopular at school because everyone else was a heathen.

Intensity is the desire to receive. Open yourself to light and you will become light.

Birth is a shipwreck the mewling infant shored on unknown land.

It is a true saying that what you fear you find.

Quoting her mother: The trouble with a book is you never know what's in it until it's too late!

What a strange world this is when you can have as much sex as you like but love is taboo.

You play you win you play you lose. You play. It's the playing that's irresistible. Dicing from one year to the next with the things you love what you risk reveals what you value.

We shall all die and our lives will be irrelevant then.

Islands are metaphors of the heart no matter what poet says otherwise.

Trust me I'm telling you stories.

There's no story that's the start of itself.

If I can't stay where I am and I can't then I will put all that I can into the going.

The universe has no sides no end can't be mapped. Enough to make a man talk about God make a man superstitious and worship an idol. The science never gets as far as the strangeness.

The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love.

Are we all living like this? Two lives the ideal outer life and the inner imaginative life where we keep our secrets?

It's not the one thing nor the other that leads to madness but the space in between.

London is a small place and it is very incestuous. People know where you live. Everybody is sort of on top of each other.

Stories end in reverie tragedy or forgiveness.

Everything is imprinted for ever with what it once was.

I write about sex because often it feels like the most important thing in the world.

I will do whatever I have to do to reach people with the things I believe are important. Life is too short not to do everything you can.

I realised something important: whatever is on the outside can be taken away at any time. Only what is inside you is safe.

Capitalism is like Japanese Knotweed: nothing kills it off. If there were only two people left on the planet one of them would find a way of making money out of the other.

...there are two kinds of writing: the one you write and the one that writes you.

Nobody knows anything about Shakespeare the person. It's all legend it is all rumor.

The key to happiness ... is tolerance of those who do not do as you do.

You play. You win. You play. You lose. You play.

Why is the measure of love loss?

Poetry is easier to learn than prose. Once you have learned it you can use it as a light and a laser. It shows up your true situation and it helps you cut through it.

If we make anything that lasts it outlives us.

Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation.

Every moment you steal from the present is a moment you've lost forever. There is only now.

I want to get to the end and feel that I've done all I could given the limitations and given the opportunities.

Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening.

It doesn't have to be like that but mostly it is.

Woolf wanted to say dangerous things in Orlando but she did not want to say them in the missionary position.

She was a monster but she was my monster.

There must be some part of Man that is more than his daily round. Some part of him that will use his profit on a matter of no profit.

Many people feel their outer self isn't the whole self.

Of course people will laugh at you but people laugh at a great many things so there is no need to take it personally.

For some perhaps for many books are spare time. For me the rest of life is spare time: I wake and sleep language. It has always been so.

Any measurement must take into account the position of the observer. There is no such thing as measurement absolute there is only measurement relative.

Time is a player. Time is part of today not simply a measure of its passing.

..to change something you do not understand is the true nature of evil.

History is not a suicide note -- it is a record of our survival.

Do you fall in love often?" Yes often. With a view with a book with a dog a cat with numbers with friends with complete strangers with nothing at all.

the past is so hard to shift. It comes with us like a chaperon standing between us and the newness of the present - the new chance.

He wrote on a piece of paper with his pencil. Psychosis: out of touch with reality. Since then I have been trying to find out what reality is so that I can touch it.

Six books"¦ my mother didn't want books falling into my hands. It never occurred to her that I fell into the books "? that I put myself inside them for safe keeping.

I do not accept that life has an ordinary shape or that there is anything ordinary about life at all. We make it ordinary but it is not.

The only selfish life is a timid one.

She hated being a nobody and like all children adopted or not I have had to live out some of her unlived life. We do that for our parents - we don't really have any choice.

Each book is a different staging post on the writer's journey and each book stands by itself regardless of the writer's relationship to it.

I think heterosexuality and homosexuality are a kind of psychosis and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Words are the part of silence that can be spoken.

Sometimes you have to live in precarious and temporary places. Unsuitable places. Wrong places. Sometimes the safe place won't help you.

If people aren't educated they can't question. If they can't question they can't change anything which is great for the status quo and all the people who can question them at their own level.

I'm not a quitter.

What you risk reveals what you value.

Reading is a rendezvous with your soul.

Reading is where the wild things are.

Time that withers you will wither me. We will fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together. Dear friend let me lie beside you watching the clouds until the earth covers us and we are gone.

The poet will not be satisfied with recording the poet will have to transform.

I am good at walking away. Rejection teaches you how to reject.

The world is surely wide enough to walk without fear.

Seeing one's books on the shelf tells you so much about the way somebody has over the years put together their private library which is a reflection of their minds and their selves.

They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?

Love's lengthways splits the heart in two - the heart where you are the heart where you want to be.

My characters are always on the outside; the spotlight's not on them. But they do get somewhere.

Why did I walk so purposefully in a straight line? Where would it take me? He went round and round and we got there all the same.

Whatever is powerful to you can be translated into something which will matter to somebody that you will never know.

I am a writer who happens to love women. I am not a lesbian who happens to write.

When pieces of work speak to us in a way that feels as if they were made just for us those become our private worlds that we return to.