I didn't want to be a boy, ever, but I was outraged that his height and intelligence were graces for him and gaucheries for me
The real power of books is their deep companionability. We learn from them as we learn from the deep companionability of love to know our own hearts and minds better.
I had always said to myself that forty was the cut off point of my apprenticeship which may for some people sound like a very long one, but the novel as art is a middle-aged art.
If the tenth of the population that is gay became visible tomorrow, the panic of the majority of people would inspire repressive legislation of a sort that would shock even the pessimists among us.
If we don't bear witness as citizens, as people, as individuals, the right that we have had to life is sacrificed. There is a silence, instead of a speaking presence.
Love is the terrible secret people are suspected of unless they're married, then one always suspects they don't.
People genuinely happy in their choices seem less often tempted to force them on other people than those who feel martyred and broken by their lives.
Writing is far too hard work to say what someone else wants me to. Serving it as a craft, using it as a way of growing in my own understanding, seems to me to be a beautiful way to live. And if that product is shareable with other people, so much the better.
My private measure of success is daily. If this were to be the last day of my life would I be content with it? To live in a harmonious balance of commitments and pleasures is what I strive for.
I believe only in art and failure.
Morality, like language, is an invented structure for conserving and communicating order. And morality is learned, like language, by mimicking and remembering.
The message of women's liberation is that women can love each other and ourselves against our degrading education.
Morality is a test of our conformity rather than our integrity.