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John Irving quotes Showing 1-30 of 995

“When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.”
John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire
“Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.”
John Irving, The Cider House Rules
“They were involved in that awkward procedure of getting to unknow each other.”
John Irving, The World According to Garp
“My life is a reading list.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“Keep passing the open windows.”
John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire
“We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.”
John Irving, Trying to Save Piggy Sneed
“It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.”
John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire
“In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me”
John Irving, The World According to Garp
“Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.”
John Irving, The Cider House Rules
“Never confuse faith, or belief—of any kind—with something even remotely intellectual.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“The only way you get Americans to notice anything is to tax them or draft them or kill them.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“People only ask questions when they're ready to hear the answers.”
John Irving, The Cider House Rules
“In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us -- not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.”
John Irving, Until I Find You
“Imagining something is better than remembering something.”
John Irving, The World According to Garp
“So we dream on. Thus we invent our lives. We give ourselves a sainted mother, we make our father a hero; and someone’s older brother and someone’s older sister – they become our heroes too. We invent what we love and what we fear. There is always a brave lost brother – and a little lost sister, too. We dream on and on: the best hotel, the perfect family, the resort life. And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them… That’s what happens, like it or not. And because that’s what happens, this is what we need: we need a good, smart bear… Coach Bob knew it all along: you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows.”
John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire
“Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.”
John Irving, My Movie Business: A Memoir
“it's not god who's fucked up, it's the screamers who say they believe in him and who claim to pursue their ends in his holy name.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“If you are careful,' Garp wrote, 'if you use good ingredients, and you don't take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.”
John Irving, The World According to Garp
“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice. Not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God. I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“It´s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can't interfere with people you love any more than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know. And that's hard, ..., because you often feel like interfering -you want to be the one who makes the plans.”
John Irving, The Cider House Rules
tags: love
“In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases”
John Irving, The World According to Garp
“A truly happy woman drives some men and almost every other woman absolutely crazy”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“When time passes, it's the people who knew you whom you want to see; they're the ones you can talk to. When enough time passes, what's it matter what they did to you?”
John Irving, The Cider House Rules
“Every American should be forced to live outside the United States for a year or two. Americans should be forced to see how ridiculous they appear to the rest of the world! They should listen to someone else's version of themselves--to anyone else's version! Every country knows more about America than Americans know about themselves! And Americans know absolutely nothing about any other country!”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
tags: life
“Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean––make sure they know what they mean!”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
“If watching television doesn't hasten death, it surely manages to make death very inviting; for television so shamelessly sentimentalizes and romanticizes death that it makes the living feel they have missed something - just by staying alive.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

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John Irving
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A Prayer for Owen Meany A Prayer for Owen Meany
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The World According to Garp The World According to Garp
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The Cider House Rules The Cider House Rules
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The Hotel New Hampshire The Hotel New Hampshire
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