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The Interestings The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
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“But, she knew, you didn’t have to marry your soulmate, and you didn’t even have to marry an Interesting. You didn’t always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that got the standing ovation. You could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“She recognized that that is how friendships begin: one person reveals a moment of strangeness, and the other person decides just to listen and not exploit it.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“People could not get enough of what they had lost, even if they no longer wanted it.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“I always thought it was the saddest and most devastating ending. How you could have these enormous dreams that never get met. How without knowing it you could just make yourself smaller over time. I don't want that to happen to me.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“And didn't it always go like that--body parts not lining up the way you wanted them to, all of it a little bit off, as if the world itself were an animated sequence of longing and envy and self-hatred and grandiosity and failure and success, a strange and endless cartoon loop that you couldn't stop watching, because, despite all you knew by now, it was still so interesting.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“But clearly life took people and shook them around until finally they were unrecognizable even to those who had once known them well. Still, there was power in once having known someone.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Part of the beauty of love was that you didn’t need to explain it to anyone else. You could refuse to explain. With love, apparently you didn’t necessarily feel the need to explain anything at all.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
tags: love
“...he’s infuriated that his e-reader allows him to only know the percentage of a book he’s read, not the number of pages. This, he thinks, is 92 percent stupid.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“And specialness - everyone wants it. But Jesus, is it the most essential thing there is? Most people aren't talented. So what are they supposed to do - kill themselves?”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Ordinary father-daughter love had a charge to it that generally was both permitted and indulged. There was just something so beautiful about the big father complementing the tiny girl. Bigness and tininess together at last – yet the bigness would never hurt the tininess! It respected it. In a world in which big always crushes tiny, you wanted to cry at the beauty of big being kind of and worshipful of and being humbled by tiny. You couldn’t help but think of your own father as you saw your little girl with hers.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“After a certain age, you felt a need not to be alone. It grew stronger, like a radio frequency, until finally it was so powerful that you were forced to do something about it.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
tags: alone
“Well," said Ash, and she got out of her own bed and came to sit beside Jules. "I've always sort of felt that you prepare yourself over the course of your whole life for the big moments, you know? But when they happen, you sometimes feel totally unready for them, or even that they're not what you thought. And that's what makes them strange. The reality is really different from the fantasy.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Because the truth is, the world will probably whittle your daughter down. But a mother never should.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“But this post-college world felt different from everything that had come before it; art was still central, but now everyone had to think about making a living too, and they did so with a kind of scorn for money except as it allowed them to live the way they wanted to live.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
tags: money
“Just the act of sleeping beside someone you liked to be with. Maybe that was love.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“...You want to know whether the problems that you teenagers feel—will they follow you over the rest of your lives? Will your hearts always be aching? Is that what you are asking me?”
Goodman shifted in discomfort. “Something like that,” he said.
“Yes,” said the counselor in a suddenly plangent voice. “Always they will be aching. I wish I could tell you something else, but I wouldn’t be telling the truth. My wise and gentle friends, this is the way it will be from now on.”
No one could say anything. “We are so, so fucked,” Jules finally said...”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“The child who was happy with herself meant the parents had won the jackpot.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Dennis was present, still present, and this, she thought as she stayed landed against him, was no small talent.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“We are all here, on this earth for only one go around. And everyone thinks their purpose is to just find their passion. But perhaps our purpose is to find what other people need.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“You had only one chance for a signature in life, but most people left no impression.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“What does a woman have to do to be seen as a serious person?"
"Be a man, I guess," Ethan said...”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Twitter," said Manny, waving his hand. "You know what that is? Termites with microphones.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Wasn't the whole point of being an artist, or at least part of it, that you didn't have to wear a tie?”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“The minute you had kids you closed ranks. You didn't plan this in advance, but it happened. Families were like individual, discrete, moated island nations. The little group of citizens on the slab of rock gathered together instinctively, almost defensively, and everyone who was outside the walls—even if you'd once been best friends—was now just that, outsiders.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“You didn't always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that got the standing ovation. You could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“This was a time of life, she understood, in which you might not know what you were, but that was all right. You judged people not on their success - almost no one they knew was successful at age twenty-two, and no one had a nice apartment, owned anything of value, dressed in expensive clothes, or had any interest in making money - but on their appeal. The time period between the ages of, roughly, twenty to thirty was often amazingly fertile. Great work might get done during this ten-year slice of time. Just out of college, they were geraing up, ambitious not in a calculating way, but simply eager, not yet tired.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Maybe googling people kills them … You keep looking them up to see where they are, until one day you look them up and they’re dead.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“If someone said 'diametrically,' could 'opposed' be far behind?”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Jealousy was essentially "I want what you have," while envy was "I want what you have, but I also want to take it away so you can't have it.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
fawn face, the expression a deer makes not when it's caught in headlights but when it catches a human looking at it in wonder. The deer looks back, acknowledging not only its own terror but its own grace, and it shows off for a moment in front of the human. It flirts.”
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings

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