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Michael McDowell quotes (showing 1-14 of 14)

“In the hour before a thunderstorm, the color of the forest deepens: the pine needles take on a dense vibrant greenness they possess at no other time, the slender trunks go black, and the leaden sky above sinks lower by the minute.”
Michael McDowell, Cold Moon Over Babylon
“And among adults, adultery is an unmentionable thing, which only occurs in the Bible and in Mobile.”
Michael McDowell, The Amulet
“Merle Weaver stroked the little girl's hair and thought of the two corpses in the rear of the truck.”
Michael McDowell, The Amulet
“To the little girl the house seemed a gigantic head, and she only a morsel of meat conveniently positioned in its gaping mouth. The front porch was that grinning mouth, the white porch railing its lower teeth, the ornamental wooden frieze above its upper teeth, the painted wicker chair on which she perched its green wagging tongue. Frances sat and rocked and wondered when the jaws would clamp shut.”
Michael McDowell, The Levee
“That her niece should find such profound pleasure in the company of a thirteen-year-old black girl--and, more to the point, always within the precincts of Elinor's house--was a slap in Mary-Love's face. She decided, without saying anything more to James, to wreck Grace's perfection of happiness. Grace would learn that she, Mary-Love, was the source of all felicity within the Caskey family.”
Michael McDowell, Blackwater II: The Levee
“I am a commercial writer and I'm proud of that. I am writing things to be put in the bookstore next month. I think it is a mistake to try to write for the ages.”
Michael McDowell
“They placed the board between them on the kitchen table, and Becca took the suddenly inspired precaution of sprinkling the planchette with holy water taken from a bottle in the pantry placed next to the vanilla extract.”
Michael McDowell, The Amulet
“Grace began to understand. "I have friends," she protested. "I have Zaddie."

"Zaddie is just a little colored girl," Mary-Love pointed out. "It's all right to play with Zaddie, but she's not your real friend. John Robert can be your real little friend.”
Michael McDowell, The Levee
“She had got beyond despair.”
Michael McDowell, The Amulet
“I sort of wish that was what happened though, Ginny, because that would mean the girl is all right. Fourteen-year-old girls have run off before."

Ginny eyed the sheriff severely. "Not fourteen-year-old girls who had grandmas like Evelyn Larkin.”
Michael McDowell, Cold Moon Over Babylon
“Southerners are an easygoing race when it comes to aberrations of conduct. They will react with anger if something out of the ordinary is presented as a possible future occurrence; but if an unusual circumstance is discovered to be an established fact, they will usually accept it without rancor or judgment as part of the normal order of things. To have informed the men who hung about the seed and feed stores that two women had bought Gavin Pond and were turning it into the biggest farm in the county would have brought out calls to repeal the voting rights amendment; but when confronted with Grace, the men were perfectly willing to accept her, her cousin Lucille, and Lucille's little boy.”
Michael McDowell, The War
“That was the great misconception about men: because they dealt with money, because they could hire someone on and later fire him, because they alone filled state assemblies and were elected congressional representatives, everyone thought they had power. Yet all the hiring and firing, the land deals and the lumber contracts, the complicated process for putting through a constitutional amendment-these were only bluster. They were blinds to disguise the fact of men's real powerlessness in life. Men controlled the legislatures, but when it came down to it, they didn't control themselves. Men had failed to study their own minds sufficiently, and because of this failure they were at the mercy of fleeting passions; men, much more than women, were moved by petty jealousies and the desire for petty revenges. Because they enjoyed their enormous but superficial power, men had never been forced to know themselves the way that women, in their adversity and superficial subservience, had been forced to learn about the workings of their brains and their emotions.”
Michael McDowell, The Flood
“Mary-Love liked to see herself as the family cornucopia, dispensing all manner of good things, unstintingly, unceasingly. She considered herself amply rewarded by her children's gratitude, and if she perceived that her children were not sufficiently grateful, she could make something of that, too.”
Michael McDowell, Blackwater II: The Levee
“I would be perfectly willing if a publisher came up to me and said, "I need a novel about underwater Nazi cheerleaders and it has to be 309 pages long and I need fourteen chapters and a prologue.”
Michael McDowell


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The Flood (Blackwater, #1) The Flood
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The Levee (Blackwater, #2) The Levee
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The House (Blackwater, #3) The House
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