Tracy Chevalier


American Historical Novelist

Author Quotes

But dying was no drama. Dying was cold and hard and painful, and dull. It went on too long. I was exhausted and growing bored with it. Now I had too much time to think about whether I was going to die from the tide

I had walked along that street all my life, but had never been so aware that my back was to my home

I try to write 1,000 words a day - about three pages. When I reach 1,000 words I feel good. Less than that: a failure. More than that: tired.

Over his shoulder I saw a star fall. It was me.

What do you believe, Aunt Elizabeth?' 'I believe. . . I am comfortable with reading the Bible figuratively rather than literally. For instance, I think the six days in Genesis are not literal days, but different periods of creation, so that it took many thousands --- or hundreds of thousands of years --- to create. It does not demean God; it simply gives Him more time to build this extraordinary world.' 'And the ichthyosaurus and plesiosaurus?' 'They are creatures from long, long ago. They remind us that the world is changing. Of course it is. I can see it change when there are landslips at Lyme that alter the shoreline. It changes when there are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and floods. And why shouldn't it?

Everybody asks the same questions -- but they don't know that they ask the same questions.

I have a bed and enough to eat and kind people about me. God is still with me. For these things I am grateful and have no reason to complain

I wanted to wear the mantle and the pearls. I wanted to know the man who painted her like that.

Say something worth the words.

What made him most attractive was that he was attracted to her. Another?s interest can be a powerful stimulant. She could feel his eyes on her as an almost

Fanny was having all the time what I experienced only the once with Colonel Birch in the orchard. I had my fame to comfort me, and the money it brought in, but that only went so far. I could not hate Fanny, for it were my fault she was crippled. But I could not ever feel friendly towards her nor comfortable round her. That was the case with many people in Lyme. I had come unstuck. I would never be a lady like the Philpots?no one would ever call me Miss Mary. I would be plain Mary Anning. Yet

I have always admired most those who lead with their eyes, like Mary Anning, for they seem more aware of the world and its workings.

I was chopping vegetables in the kitchen when I heard voices outside our front door ? a woman?s, bright as polished brass, and a man?s, low and dark like the wood of the table I was working on. They were the kind of voices we heard rarely in our house. I could hear rich carpets in their voices, books and pearls and fur.

So many (too many) books are published every year, and it seems everyone is writing a book. Perhaps we should all be reading more and writing less!

While Molly and Joseph Anning suffered materially that winter, with many days of weak soup and weaker fires, Mary barely noticed how little she was eating or the chilblains on her hands and feet. She was suffering inside.

He had decided to trust me.

I have consistently loved books that I've read when I've been sick in bed.

It is less distracting in the silence, she said. Sustained silence allows one truly to listen to what is deep inside. We call it waiting in expectation.

That?s how fossil hunting is: It takes over, like a hunger, and nothing else matters but what you find. And even when you find it, you still start looking again the next minute, because there might be something even better waiting.

Yes, well, life is a folly. If you live long enough, nothing is surprising.

He made me feel an idiot, even when I knew he was a bigger one than I.

I have noticed that people do not change which feature they lead with, any more than they change in character.

It seemed to me that the baker had an honest response to the painting. Van Ruijven tried too hard when he looked at paintings, with his honeyed words and studied expressions. He was too aware of having an audience to perform for, whereas the baker merely said what he thought.

The grandeur false if you were not grand yourself.

You know I don?t listen to market gossip, she began, but it is hard not to hear it when my daughter?s name is mentioned.

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American Historical Novelist