She had filled her days mourning that shadow life, and it had no more meaning than the chattering of monkeys. Instead, these last few weeks, she had seen what might have been had she not felt perpetually done out of something better.
It had turned out that climbing a tree was more difficult than it looked. It was harder than warrior pose in yoga, than teaser in Pilates, than the elliptical or the Reformer. Rebecca thought that if no one had thought of it yet, soon enough someone in the city would spearhead a craze for tree climbing in Central and Prospect Parks, and it would become the talk of every cocktail party: have you tried that large oak by the Sheep Meadow? Oh, it’s completely changed my body.
A fix-it man, they used to call it, when things still got fixed instead of just junked. If
We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming.
They were photographs you had to explain, which meant they were a failure.
There is so much obligatory generosity to being a good mother, a good wife, a good friend. Solitude is an acceptable form of selfishness.
Every story has already been told. Once you’ve read Anna Karenina, Bleak House, The Sound and the Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, you understand that there is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.”
[Commencement Speech; Mount Holyoke College, May 23, 1999]
When you really want to say no, say no. You can’t do everything – or at least not well.
Occasionally Rebecca wished her son would not be so very kind to her, as though she was the losing pitcher on a Little League team.
even the outright deletions that Ayn Rand’s editor should have taken care of).