Best 1003 quotes in «memoir quotes» category

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    This week Sarah Palin's memoir became a bestseller. It's not even out yet. It's being translated into English.

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    Well I'm not a novelist. I've only written one book and that is a memoir.

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    When Goldie Hawn wrote her memoirs, no one said Goldie Hawn was snitching. When Jane Fonda wrote her memoirs, no one said Jane Fonda was snitching.

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    Writing a memoir has a particularly excited sense of narcissism.

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    A bookshop is a peaceful sanctuary of silent voices waiting to heard

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    A basic reality of life is that we all struggle. We hurt and have hurt other people. We all feel lost sometimes. This isn’t all we are, but it is a part of who we are. The only question I have when I’m with someone is, “Can they admit it? And will they let me admit it too?

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    You write fiction, you're writing memoir, and when you're writing memoir, you're writing fiction.

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    Actions are prayers too, and as I am trying, not always successfully, to be a good parent, a good husband, a good teacher, I sometimes think: this is my conversation with God. It seems to me now that the action of walking to Santiago was, in itself, a prayer – a prayer repeatedly and resoundingly answered. Benjamin is an answered prayer, of course, but so was James. He just wasn’t the answer we expected.

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    A couple hours went by, and the storm began to turn back to the sea. The dark clouds rolled away, leaving white, fluffy ones in their place. We were safe, and the rock in the distance was still there. We stepped out of the car and walked over to the rock, noticing the families of seals were back again. The seals were strong and ready to make it through any storm that would fall their way. My parents’ love was still there; that is what love means. I envy that love, and I hoped to find it someday... and I did.

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    Actually, we shot it over two days and the ghost of Danny DeVito was devastatingly present the whole time.

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    Absolutely devout in her complete care of my body, she had only taught me to be weak and voiceless. But I had unlearned that lesson. Our enmeshment no longer felt to me like proof of love. I was no longer willing to permit this silencing. Helplessness didn't have to be my identity, I wasn't condemned to it. I was willing—able—to change. Our enmeshment had been enabled by my belief that I needed her to help me, to take care of things for me—and to save me—but, back in the home where I'd learned this helplessness, I found I no longer felt that I was trapped in it.

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    A favorite pastime of soldiers on long mounted patrols was testing each other with impossible hypotheticals. They were an endearing yet vulgar form of moral drama, but only because the alternative was to contemplate being blown up by an illiterate goat herder’s morning project. “What would you rather do, have sex with your sister or shoot your mother?” “Would you rather pick up a baby with a pitchfork, or throw a paraplegic in a fire?” In one form or another, these young men were weighing the relative value of human life in real terms, perhaps as a surrogate for murkier thoughts that might otherwise be in the forefront, such as, “Why am I risking my life in this wasteland?” or “Whose life is worth more, that of my best friend in the gun turret or of some Iraqi kid I’ve never met?” It passed the time.

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    After a lifetime of soft, easy living in the West, one's buttocks take an awful hammering out here. Backpacking around India is just one long round of sitting on bone-hard, chafing, bruising and generally uncomfortable seats-whether in buses our trains, or restaurants or cinemas. There is no such thing as a padded seat in the whole country.

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    After giving it some thought, I've decided to name my monkey mind Ricky Bobby. I was thinking about Latin names like Javier, but I don't want to make my jumping, distractable self sound mysterious and sexy. Ricky Bobby makes me laugh. A name like that seems silly, not strong. Just a goofy little thing that doesn't know what to do with its hands, likes to go fast, and loves tiny, infant, baby Jesus.

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    After consciously enduring a twelve-inch knitting needle navigated into the unseen recesses of my pelvis and almost passing out at the sensation of my hip inflating with fluid and somehow clinging to my sanity through the hour-long, migraine-inducing blare of the imaging contraption, which resembled a compact wind tunnel, possessed the amplification capability of a Marshall stack, and pushed my patience beyond the limits of superhuman endurance, I was informed by my orthopedist that the image of my still-smoldering hip had revealed, and I quote, “just a little inflammation.” In the world of orthopedic medicine, “a little inflammation” apparently qualifies as sound diagnosis.

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    After college I got a job and started working. This new career had absolutely nothing to do with my degree.

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    Acts of love, for me, are leaps of bravery.

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    A garden is never finished. In that sense it is like the human world and all human undertakings.

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    After twelve years of trying, I just decided to stop missing.

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    All I could think as he was speaking was that, if he touched me at all, all the miles I’d walked, the pain I’d felt, the beauty I’d drunken like milk, like good wine making me happy, the four million steps I’d taken, would all add up to nothing. They’d be stolen.

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    All family stories are important, just as all people are important, and they deserve to be passed along.

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    All too often, those of us who choose to remain childless are accused of being somehow unwomanly or unnatural or selfish, but history teaches us that there have always been women who went through life without having babies.

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    Alongside the liberating relief of the veteran who tells us his story, I now felt in the writing a complex, intense, and new pleasure, similar to that I felt as a student when penetrating the solemn order of differentials calculus. It was exalting to search and find, or create, the right word, that is, commensurate, concise, and strong; to dredge up events from my memory and describe them with the greatest rigor and the least clutter.

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    A lot of men tend to want "models" I tell men, unless they look like a model themselves, they can't expect to land one.

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    Always remember that your memoir is never about you. It's about your reader. At it's core, it's about that shared space where we all experience the timeless truths of what it means to be human.

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    A marriage, willy-nilly, requires you to trust that your spouse will tell your story truthfully and lovingly when you are no longer around to tell it yourself.

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    A lifelong movie I already knew the ending to

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    Allowance grants us the permission to be perfect in our imperfection.

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    All of my secrets and scars and wishes and dreams can live together in this one body without shame, without blame, and without fear. I am all loved, all accepted, and all in service to God. In his eyes, regardless of what I did or didn’t do today, I am loved. I am His, so I am enough.

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    Alone, I relished the bird songs, the drone of hushed conversation from neighboring tables, and the gentle lapping of waves sliding on the shore. I didn't feel the passage of time. There was no destination propelling me forward, no past and no future. Each glorious moment was replaced by the next.

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    Already, this little-walked gigantic trail through my country’s Western wilderness held in my mind the promise of escape from myself, the liberation only a huge transformation could grant me. This walk would be my salvation. It had to be.

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    Although my understanding of exactly how much trouble I was in grew more specific over time, as a child I surely understood enough about my condition to know it was something I'd better keep private. By intuition I was certain that the thing I knew to be true was something others would find both impossible and hilarious. My conviction, by the way, had nothing to do with a desire to be feminine, but it had everything to do with being female. Which is an odd believe for a person born male. It certainly had nothing to do with whether I was attracted to girls or boys. This last point was the one that, years later, would most frequently elude people, including the overeducated smarty-pants who constituted much of my inner circle. But being gay or lesbian is about sexual orientation. Being transgedered is about identity.

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    A memoir is a work of sustained narrative prose controlled by an idea of the self under obligation to lift from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver wisdom. Truth in a memoir is achieved not through a recital of actual events; it is achieved when the reader comes to believe that the writer is working hard to engage with the experience at hand. What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened.

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    A memoir, at its heart, is written in order to figure out who you are.

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    A memoir is the lost inheritance.

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    And I came to recognize that, no matter how difficult the reality, you mustn't let yourself be beaten. You must have a strong will. You have to summon what you know is right from your innermost depths and follow it.

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    And look at all I've accumulated---a house! piles of clothing! two children! an ex-husband! books! boxes of letters! dishes! tiny shampoos from fancy hotels! vases! canned goods! jewelry! computers! acres of old journals! couches! bedsteads! toys galore! stuffed animals! and heaps of memories like wet rags, bunches of them, hanging off me, weighing me down.

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    And Goneville? It is a name that kept coming up as I was writing this book, and each time its meaning shifted a little. It's almost Gonville, the suburb of Whanganui where Johnny Devlin, New Zealand's first rock 'n'roll star, grew up, so arguably the birthplace of New Zealand rock 'n'roll. But it is also an imaginary place that might be every obscure New Zealand town that every obscure New Zealand band ever played.

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    And I was cooking for three, and teaching, and taking care of a man who’d just collapsed in my house; learning to cook like June Cleaver didn’t exactly seem an option.

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    And of course that was an Amaryllis that was never going to exist, one that I could never talk to or thank. I longed for her, even though I only knew her through her words.

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    And so we went. And so it went. And, slowly, I began to learn: speaking in the same language does not equal communication, especially when there is a cultural divide.

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    And there were the warm spaces in the music I loved the most, openings through which I could enter and lay my burdens down. There, behind the groove and riding on the melody, I was complete and free.

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    And the idea of light unexplainably produced out of nothing was haunting, it shook me. A flat drab mountain could produce its own light, no one in this whole world knows why, and if that was possible then of course there must be other things that seemed impossible that weren’t, and so anything—great and terrible—felt possible to me now.

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    And so, despite the complex web of paths, waterfalls, cliffs, as a hiker wanders downhill, drainages merge, faint, abstract paths coalesce, thicken, until there is one path – the one, natural, trodden way.

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    Another note to self; turn cellphone to silent when you’re trying to be sneaky.

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    Anger tried to help me feel better about myself by pushing the blame onto someone else.

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    Answering the question 'How would you like to smell?' by saying 'I'd rather I didn't' is also no longer acceptable. It's not playing the game. Men are expected to put some cash into the cosmetic pot too - it's seen as almost un-feminist not to. What a uniquely capitalist response to that gender inequality: women have been forced by convention for generations - millennia - to spend money on expensive clothes and agonising shoes, to daub themselves with reality-concealing slap, to smell expensively inhuman, to self-mutilate in pursuit of eternal youth; and this, quite rightly, has come to be deemed unfair. But how do we end this hell? We make men do it too. Well done everyone.

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    Anyone can choose to have success, but only the patient ones will get rewarded by it. Be relentless in chasing your dreams.

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    Anyone who thinks he's too small to make a difference has never been bit by a mosquito", I'd tell people.

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    Anyone with an autobiography is almost definitely an evil piece of shit.