Margaret Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Canadian Author, Poet, Critic, Essayist and Environmental Activist

Author Quotes

There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.

They say: Speak for us (to whom?) Some say: Avenge us (on whom?) Some say: Take our place. Some say: Witness Others say (and these are women) Be happy for us.

This is the middle of my life, I think of it as a place, like the middle of a river, the middle of a bridge, halfway across, halfway over. I'm supposed to have accumulated things by now: possessions, responsibilities, achievements, experience and wisdom. I'm supposed to be a person of substance.

The policemen's faces glisten too, they're holding themselves back, they love this, it's a ceremony, they're implementing a policy

The things I throw miss, although they are worse things. The things he throws hit, but are harmless.

Their mothers had finally caught up to them and been proven right. There were consequences after all but they were the consequences to things you didn't even know you'd done.

There was little that was truly original or indigenous to Gilead. Its genius was synthesis.

There's time to spare. This is one of the things I wasn't prepared for - the amount of unfilled time, the long parentheses of nothing. Time as white sound.

They see their own ill will

This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year?s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath.

The proper study of Mankind is Everything.

The threat to the planet is us. It's actually not a threat to the planet - it's a threat to us.

Their youngness is terrifying. How could I have put myself into the hands of such inexperience?

There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. I remember that yearning, and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then, in the small of the back, or out back, in the parking lot, or in the television room with the sound turned down and only the pictures flickering over lifting flesh. We yearned for the future How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?

There's too much blood: people in the Bible are always having their blood spilled, blood on their hands, their blood licked up by dogs. There are too many slaughters, too much suffering, too many tears. She used to think some of the Eastern religions would be more serene; she was a Buddhist for a while, before she discovered how many hells they had. Most religions are so intent on punishment.

They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying of too much choice.

This is what I miss, Cordelia: not something that?s gone, but something that will never happen. Two old women giggling over their tea.

The prospect of his future life stretched before him like a sentence; not a prison sentence but a long-winded sentence with a lot of unnecessary subordinate clauses, as he was soon in the habit of quipping during Happy Hour pickup time at the local campus bars and pubs. He couldn?t say he was looking forward to it, this rest-of-his-life.

The Three of them were beautiful, in the way all girls of that age are beautiful. It can't be helped, that sort of beauty, nor can it be conserved; it's a freshness, a plumpness of the cells, that's unearned and temporary, and that nothing can replicate. None of them was satisfied with it, however; already they were making attempts to alter themselves into some impossible, imaginary mould, plucking and penciling away at their faces. I didn't blame them, having done the same once myself.

Then sail, my fine lady, on the billowing wave - The water below is as dark as the grave, and maybe you'll sink in your little blue boat - It's hope, and hope only, that keeps us afloat.

There were a few other moves of his father's he could do without as well - the sucker punches, the ruffling of the hair, the way of pronouncing the word son, in a slightly deeper voice. This hearty way of talking was getting worse, as if his father were auditioning for the role of Dad, but without much hope.

These albums were thick with babies, but my replicas thinned out as I grew older, as if the population of my duplicates had been hit with some plague.

They spent the first three years of school getting you to pretend stuff and then the rest of it marking you down if you did the same thing.

This isn't good enough for Rennie. She wants something definite, the real truth, one way or the other. Then she will know what she should do next. It's this suspension, hanging in a void, this half-life she can't bear. She can't bear not knowing. She doesn't want to know.

The qualities we appreciate in a character are not the same as those we would look for in a college roommate.

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