slug Quotes

Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.

- Margaret Atwood

What thumbsuckers we all are...when it comes to mothers.

- Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult. "It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. "Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control. "I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?"That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed at home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could point your finger at. ..."Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful.

- Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Girl Without HandsWalking through the ruinson your way to workthat do not look like ruinswith the sunlight pouring overthe seen worldlike hail or meltedsilver, that brightand magnificent, each leafand stone quickened and specific in it,and you can't hold it,you can't hold any of it. Distance surrounds you,marked out by the ends of your armswhen they are stretched to their fullest.You can go no farther than this,you think, walking forward,pushing the distance in front of youlike a metal cart on wheelswith its barriers and horizontals.Appearance melts away from you,the offices and pyramidson the horizon shimmer and cease.No one can enter that circleyou have made, that clean circleof dead space you have madeand stay inside,mourning because it is clean.Then there's the girl, in the white dress,meaning purity, or the failureto be any colour. She has no hands, it's true.The scream that happened to the airwhen they were taken offsurrounds her now like an aureoleof hot sand, of no sound.Everything has bled out of her.Only a girl like thiscan know what's happened to you.If she were here she wouldreach out her arms towardsyou now, and touch youwith her absent handsand you would feel nothing, but you would betouched all the same.

- Margaret Atwood, Morning in the Burned House

Every Canadian has a complicated relationship with the United States, whereas Americans think of Canada as the place where the weather comes from.

- Margaret Atwood

We'll choose knowledge no matter what, we'll maim ourselves in the process, we'll stick our hands into the flames for it if necessary. Curiosity is not our only motive; love or grief or despair or hatred is what drives us on. We'll spy relentlessly on the dead; we'll open their letters, we'll read their journals, we'll go through their trash, hoping for a hint, a final word, an explanation, from those who have deserted us--who've left us holding the bag, which is often a good deal emptier than we'd supposed.

- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

He wants to see, he wants to know, only to see and know. I'm aware that it is this mentality, this curiosity, which is responsible for the hydrogen bomb and the imminent demise of civilization and that we would all be better off if we were still at the stone-worshipping stage. Though surely it is not this affable inquisitiveness that should be blamed.

- Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg

Lambhood and tigerishness may be found in either gender, and in the same individual at different times.

- Margaret Atwood

Sympathy from strangers can be ruinous.

- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

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 pencilling away at their faces. I didn't blame them, having done the same once myself.

- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.