Lionel Shriver Quotes

Quotes tagged as "lionel-shriver" (showing 1-12 of 12)
Lionel Shriver
“They were determined to find something mechanically wrong with him - because broken machines are easier to fix.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“My mind is huge with little stories that I never told you.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“The last thing we want to admit is that the forbidden fruit on which we have been gnawing since reaching the magic age of twenty-one is the same mealy Golden Delicious that we stuff into our children’s lunch boxes. The last thing we want to admit is that the bickering of the playground perfectly presages the machinations of the boardroom, that our social hierarchies are merely an extension of who got picked first for the kickball team, and that grown-ups still get divided into bullies and fatties and crybabies. What’s a kid to find out? Presumably we lord over them an exclusive deed to sex, but this pretense flies so fantastically in the face of fact that it must result from some conspiratorial group amnesia. […] In truth, we are bigger, greedier versions of the same eating, shitting, rutting ruck, hell-bent on disguising from somebody, if only from a three-year-old, that pretty much all we do is eat and shit and rut. The secret is there is no secret. That is what we really wish to keep from our kids, and its supression is the true collusion of adulthood, the pact we make, the Talmud we protect.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“He wasn't mad, he was sad.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“Just because there are lots of them doesn't mean that it isn't a privilege to live in a time when you can buy them for 99¢. (about Mcdonalds' apple pies)
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“A carpet of despair which lay underneath the levels of fury.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“Couples stray,” said Edgar. “Part of the breaking-in process.”

“Not breaking in, breaking.” Nicola differed sharply. “You can glue people together again. But then your relationship’s like any other repaired object, with cracks, blobs of epoxy, a little askew. It’s never the same. I can see you haven’t a notion what I’m on about, so you’ll have to take my word for it.”

“Christ, you’re a babe in the woods.” Edgar stopped slicing tomatoes. “You got it ass-backward. A marriage perched like porcelain on the mantelpiece is doomed. Sooner or later grown-ups treat each other like shit. You gotta be able to kick the thing around, less like china than an old shoe—bam, under the bed, or walk it through some puddles. No love’s gonna last it if can’t take abuse.”
Lionel Shriver, The New Republic

Lionel Shriver
“Was our life together that unbearable?”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“They drummed into you that pain was good, you were supposed to go with it, push into the pain, and only... now... did I contemplate what retarded advice this was.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“In the end, that’s what Kevin has never forgiven us. He may not resent that we tried to impose a curtain between himself and the adult terrors lurking behind it. But he does powerfully resent that we led him down the garden path—that we enticed him with the prospect of the exotic. (Hadn’t I myself nourished the fantasy that I would eventually land in a country that was somewhere else?) When we shrouded our grown-up mysteries for which Kevin was too young, we implicitly promised him that when the time came, the curtain would pull back to reveal—what? Like the ambiguous emotional universe that I imagined awaited me on the other side of childbirth, it’s doubtful that Kevin had formed a vivid picture of whatever we had withheld from him. But the one thing he could not have imagined is that we were withholding nothing. That there was nothing on the other side of our silly rules, nothing.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“Their home was nice, the food was nice, the girls were nice – nice, nice, nice.

I disappointed myself by finding our perfectly pleasant lunch with perfectly pleasant people inadequate. […] These were good people and they had been good to us and we had therefore had a good time. To conclude otherwise was frightening, raising the specter of some unnameable quantity without which we could not abide, but which we could not summon on demand, least of all by proceeding in virtuous accordance with an established formula.

You regarded redemption as an act of will. You disparaged people (people like me) for their cussedly nonspecific dissatisfactions, because to fail to embrace the simple fineness of being alive betrayed a weakness of character. You always hated finicky eaters, hypochondriacs, and snobs who turned their noses up at Terms of Endearment just because it was popular. Nice eats, nice place, nice folks- what more could I possibly want? Besides, the good life doesn’t knock on the door. Joy is a job. So if you believed with sufficient industry that we had had a good time with Brian and Louise in theory, then we would have had a good time in fact. The only hint that in truth you’d found our afternoon laborious was that your enthusiasm was excessive.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
“They were determined to find something mechanically wrong with him - because broken machines are easier to fix.
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Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin