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Chris Bohjalian quotes Showing 1-30 of 125

“Food is a gift and should be treated reverentially--romanced and ritualized and seasoned with memory.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
tags: food
“We may talk a good game and write even better ones, but we never outgrow those small wounded things we were when we were five and six and seven.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“But history does matter. There is a line connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Bosnians and the Rwandans. There are obviously more, but, really, how much genocide can one sentence handle?”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“I have lived with magic and without magic, and I can tell you with certainty that a life with magic is better....”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“When it seems you have nothing at all to live for, death is not especially frightening.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“But it's funny how the memory works and how sometimes we just belive whatever we want.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“As Jeremy Bentham had asked about animals well over two hundred years ago, the question was not whether they could reason or talk, but could they suffer? And yet, somehow, it seemed to take more imagination for humans to identify with animal suffering than it did to conceive of space flight or cloning or nuclear fusion. Yes, she was a fanatic in the eyes of most of the country. . .Mostly, however, she just lacked patience for people who wouldn't accept her belief that humans inflicted needless agony on the animals around them, and they did so in numbers that were absolutely staggering.”
Chris Bohjalian, Before You Know Kindness
“And though some days it is very hard, I try not to live for the future. And I try not to dream of the past.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Law of Similars
“My mother used to talk about passages and, once in a while, about ordeals. We all have them; we are all shaped by them. She thought the key was to find the healing in the hurt.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“He recalls what that first German soldier said to his major: No God-not yours or mine-approves of what you're doing.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“The world is filled with human toxins -- not the darkness that we all occasionally crave, but actually people who are so unwilling to bask in the angelic light that is offered us all that they grow poisonous -- and you can pray for their eventual recovery and healing. And sometimes those prayers will be answered. But sometimes these individuals have been vaccinated against goodness and against angels and they are so unwilling to give an inch to their God that often they never (and I use this expression absolutely literally) see the light.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“Everything about [chance] scares the bejesus out of so many people; it's the this thing they try to avoid at all costs. Don't travel to the Middle East these days - there's a chance something could happen. Don't get involved with that new fellow on Creamery Street - I hear a lot of mud was scraped off his floor after the divorce. Don't have your baby at home - there's a a chance something could go wrong. Don't don't don't... Well, you can't live your life like that! You can't spend your entire life avoiding chance. It's out there, it's inescapable, it's a part of the soul of the world. There are no sure things in this universe, and it's absolutely ridiculous to try and live like there are!”
Chris Bohjalian, Midwives
“Life is filled with small moments that seem prosaic until one has the distance to look back and see the chain of large moments they unleashed.”
Chris Bohjalian
“But history does matter. There are lines connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Serbs and the Rwandans. They are obviously morbid. Really, how much genocide can one sentence handle? You get the point. Besides, my grandparents’ story deserves to be told, regardless of their nationalities.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“No one said living isn't a pretty chancy business, Sibyl. No one gets out of here alive.”
Chris Bohjalian, Midwives
“With age comes acumen. With experience comes insight.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“I don’t know, maybe I just wanted to be alone. Maybe I just didn’t want to be social because antisocial people have a whole lot less to lose.”
Chris Bohjalian, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
“Boys look at us like we look at horses: color, height, eyes. tail. They can't help but have preferences.”
Chris Bohjalian, Midwives
“And when something wasn't working, you changed it. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“He defined himself almost wholly in the negative: It was not who he was, it was who he was not.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“Though angels were easy to finds in cemeteries, she said that she didn't especially care for funereal angels and tombstone cherubs -- she wanted her angels among the living, not watching over the already dead -- and thus she scoured parks and gardens for the angels with whom, on some level, she wanted to commune.”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“The honest answer is more complex. On some level I was sent. Or inspired. Or called. But my calling, such as it was, wasn't a single booming invitation from above (really, is it ever?)...”
Chris Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden
“Now it is you who everyone presumes is so fragile. Wounded. Scarred. Maybe they’re right. Perhaps you are. A nursery rhyme comes into your head, and, like an egg, you allow yourself to topple onto your side, your legs still pulled hard against your torso. You lie like that a long while, watching the chrome shell of the tape measure sparkle until the sun moves.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“Dead … might not be quiet at all.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“Then there were those girls who became midwives: girls who could not get enough of the tiniest of babies - girls who would grow into women who absolutely reveled in the magnificent process of birth...The difference between a woman who becomes an OB and the women who becomes and midwife has less to do with education, philosophy or upbringing than with the depth of her appreciation for the miracle of labor and for life in its moment of emergence.”
Chris Bohjalian, Midwives
“Those who participate in a genocide as well as those who merely look away rarely volunteer much in the way of anecdote or observation. Same with the heroic and the righteous. Usually it's only the survivors who speak-and often they don't want to talk much about it either. p. 75”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“No surgery in the world was going to offer him the particular history that went along with growing up female. No procedure was going to give him the joys or the terrors that must accompany pregnancy- that must, for teen girls, make sex a walk over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.”
Chris Bohjalian, Trans-Sister Radio
“How the Germans can remain allies with the Turks is beyond me. No European nation would ever commit the sorts of crimes that this regime is blithely committing right now.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls
“Children are resilient,” Anise said, simultaneously agreeing with her friend and cutting her off. “But often their wounds simply remain invisible until, all at once, whatever is festering there becomes agonizingly apparent.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers
“Sara knew that behind its locked front door no home was routine. Not the house of her childhood, not the apartment of her husband's. not the world they were building together with Willow and Patrick. All households had their mysteries, their particular forms of dysfunction.”
Chris Bohjalian, Before You Know Kindness

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