Margaret Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Canadian Author, Poet, Critic, Essayist and Environmental Activist

Author Quotes

Where were we? I've forgotten. He was deciding whether to cut her throat or love her forever. Right. Yes. The usual choices.

Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we're still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants.

Yesterday I went to the doctor, to see about these dizzy spells. He told me that I have developed what used to be called a heart, as if healthy people didn?t have one. It seems I will not after all keep on living forever, merely getting smaller and greyer and dustier, like Sibyl in her bottle. Having long ago whispered I want to die, I now realize that this wish will indeed be fulfilled, and sooner rather than later. No matter that I?ve changed my mind.

You don?t know won?t hurt you. A dubious maxim: sometimes what you don?t know can hurt you very much.

When they came to harvest my corpse?

Which does a man prefer? Bacon and eggs, or worship? Sometimes one, sometimes the other, depending how hungry he is.

Why is war so much like a practical joke? she thinks. Hiding behind bushes, leaping out, with not much difference between Boo! and Bang! except the blood.

You aren't sick and unhappy only alive and stuck with it.

You fit into me like a hook into an eye a fish hook an open eye.

What we share may be a lot like a traffic accident but we get one another. We are survivors of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.

When they're gone out of his head, these words, they'll be gone, everywhere, forever. As if they had never been.

Which does it feel like? said Daniel. He patted her hand. You're not dead yet. You're a lot more alive than many people.

Wild geese fly south, creaking like anguished hinges; along the riverbank the candles of the sumacs burn dull red. It's the first week of October. Season of woolen garments taken out of mothballs; of nocturnal mists and dew and slippery front steps, and late-blooming slugs; of snapdragons having one last fling; of those frilly ornamental pink-and-purple cabbages that never used to exist, but are all over everywhere now.

You can forget who you are if you're alone too much.

You know I love you. You're the only one.

What you get is no longer what you see.

When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.

Which of us can resist the temptation of being thought indispensable?

With shrunken fingers we ate our oranges and bread, shivering in the parked car; though we know we had never been there before, we knew we had been there before.

You can imagine how that went over.

You might even provide a Heaven for them. We need You for that. Hell we can make for ourselves.

What?s with her? says the painter. She?s mad because she?s a woman, Jon says. This is something I haven?t heard for years, not since high school. Once it was a shaming thing to say, and crushing to have it said about you, by a man. It implied oddness, deformity, sexual malfunction. I go to the living room doorway. I?m not mad because I?m a woman, I say. I?m mad because you?re an asshole.

When women let their hair down, it means either sexiness or craziness or death, the three by Victorian times having become virtually synonymous.

While he writes, I feel as if he is drawing me; or not drawing me, drawing on me--drawing on my skin--not with the pencil he is using, but with an old-fashioned goose pen, and not with the quill end but with the feather end. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings. But underneath that is another feeling, a feeling of being wide-eyed awake and watchful. It's like being wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, by a hand over your face, and you sit up with your heart going fast, and no one is there. And underneath that is another feeling still, a feeling like being torn open; not like a body of flesh, it is not painful as such, but like a peach; and not even torn open, but ripe and splitting open of its own accord. And inside the peach there's a stone.

Within each of these categories, the principle was the same: rarity and beauty increased value.

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Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood
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Canadian Author, Poet, Critic, Essayist and Environmental Activist