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Sarah Waters quotes (showing 1-30 of 200)

“The best thing to do was to brazen it out, throw your head back, walk with a swagger...”
Sarah Waters
“And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.”
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger
“We have a name for your disease. We call it a hyper-aesthetic one. You have been encouraged to over-indulge yourself in literature; and have inflamed your organs of fancy.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“It's a curious, wanting thing.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“I felt that thread that had come between us, tugging, tugging at my heart - so hard, it hurt me. A hundred times I almost rose, almost went in to her; a hundred times I thought, Go to her! Why are you waiting? Go back to her side! But every time, I thought of what would happen if I did. I knew that I couldn't lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn't have felt her breath upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn't have kissed her, without wanting to save her.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“Being in love, you know... it's not like having a canary, in a cage. When you lose one sweetheart, you can't just go out and get another to replace her.”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“Why is it we can never love the people we ought to?”
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch
tags: love
“All unwillingly I opened my eyes - then I opened them wider, and lifted my head. The heat, my weariness, were quite forgotten. Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this there was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen.”
Sarah Waters
“Why do gentlemen's voices carry so clearly, when women's are so easily stifled?”
Sarah Waters, Affinity
“When I see her,” I said, “it’s like - I don’t know what it’s like. It’s like I never saw anything at all before. It’s like I am filling up, like a wine-glass when it’s filled with wine. I watch the acts before her and they are like nothing - they’re like dust. Then she walks on the stage and - she is so pretty; and her suit is so nice; and her voice is so sweet… She makes me want to smile and weep, at once. She makes me sore, here.” I placed a hand upon my chest, upon the breast-bone. “I never saw a girl like her before. I never knew that there were girls like her…” My voice became a trembling whisper then, and I found that I could say no more. There was another silence. I opened my eyes and looked at Alice - and knew at once that I shouldn’t have spoken; that I should have been as dumb and as cunning with her as with the rest of them. There was a look on her face - it was not ambiguous at all now - a look of mingled shock, and nervousness, and embarrassment or shame. I had said too much. I felt as if my admiration for Kitty Butler had lit a beacon inside me, and opening my unguarded mouth had sent a shaft of light into the darkened room, illuminating all. I had said too much - but it was that, or say nothing.”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“Respect your characters, even the ­minor ones. In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story; it is worth thinking about what your minor characters' stories are, even though they may intersect only slightly with your protagonist's.”
Sarah Waters
“It is a world that is made of love. Did you think there is only the kind of love your sister knows for her husband? Did you think there must be here, a man with whiskers, and over here, a lady in a gown? Haven't I said, there are no whiskers and gowns where spirits are? And what will your sister do if her husband should die, and she should take another? Who will she fly to then, when she has crossed the spheres? For she will fly to someone, we will all fly to someone, we will all return to that piece of shining matter from which our souls were torn with another, two halves of the same. It may be that the husband your sister has now has that other soul, that has the affinity with her soul—I hope it is. But it may be the next man she takes, or it may be neither. It may be someone she would never think to look to on the earth, someone kept from her by some false boundary...”
Sarah Waters, Affinity
“What does it say?" I said, when I had. She said, "It is filled with all the words for how I want you...Look.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“I barely knew I had skin before I met you.”
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests
“..this feeling haunts and inhabits me, like a sickness. it covers me, like skin.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“Even ashes are a part of your freedom.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“Your twisting is done--you have the last thread of my heart. I wonder: when the thread grows slack, will you feel it?”
Sarah Waters, Affinity
“I knew that I couldn't lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn't have felt her breath come upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn't have kissed her, without wanting to save her.”
Sarah Waters
“She supposed that houses, after all - like the lives that were lived in them - were mostly made of space. It was the spaces, in fact, which counted, rather than the bricks.”
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch
“With every step I took away from her, the movement at my heart and between my legs grew more defined: I felt like a ventriloquist, locking his protesting dolls in to a trunk.”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“It was heavy, and I staggered when I lifted it; but it was strangely satifying to have a real burden upon my shoulders – a kind of counterweight to my terrible heaviness of heart.”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“life is crap but, every day is an experience”
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch
“Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I've got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish–they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.”
Sarah Waters
“Helen opened her eyes and gazed into the luminous blue of the sky. Was it crazy, she wondered, to be as grateful as she felt now, for moments like this, in a world that had atomic bombs in it—and concentration camps, and gas chambers? People were still tearing each other into pieces. There was still murder, starvation, unrest, in Poland, Palestine, India—God knew where else. Britain itself was sliding into bankruptcy and decay. Was it a kind of idiocy or selfishness, to want to be able to give yourself over to the trifles: to the parp of the Regent’s Park Band; to the sun on your face, the prickle of grass beneath your heels, the movement of cloudy beer in your veins, the secret closeness of your lover? Or were those trifles all you had? Oughtn’t you, precisely, to preserve them? To make little crystal drops of them, that you could keep, like charms on a bracelet, to tell against danger when next it came?”
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch
“Weep all the artful tears you like. You shall never make my hard heart the softer.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“We fitted together like the two halves of an oyster-shell. I was Narcissus, embracing the pond in which I was about to drown. However much we had to hide our love, however guarded we had to be about our pleasure, I could not long be miserable about a thing so very sweet. Nor, in my gladness, could I quite believe that anybody would be anything but happy for me if only they knew.”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“She scissored the curls away, and - toms, grow easily sentimental over their haircuts, but I remember this sensation very vividly - it was not like she was cutting hair, it was as if I had a pair of wings beneath my shoulder-blades, that the flesh had all grown over, and she was slicing free...”
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“Some things are so frightful that a bit of madness is the only sane response. You know that, don’t you?”
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests
“The bad blood rose in me, just like wine.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
“I suppose I really seemed mad, then; but it was only through the awfulness of having said nothing but the truth, and being thought to be deluded.”
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith

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Fingersmith Fingersmith
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The Paying Guests The Paying Guests
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