“Blindness was spreading, not like a sudden tide flooding everything and carrying all before it, but like an insidious infiltration of a thousand and one turbulent rivulets which, having slowly drenched the earth, suddenly submerge it completely.”—Jose Saramongo, Blindness.Epigraph from Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death at a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.”—Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Slaughterhouse Five. Epigraph from Noggin by John Corey Whaley
“Men are not indispensable. But Trujillo is irreplaceable. For Trujillo is not a man. He is… a cosmic force…. Those who try to compare him to ordinary contemporaries are mistaken. He belongs to…the category of those born to a special destiny.”—— La Nación. Epigraph from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
“Christ have mercy on all sleeping things!
From that dog rotting down Wrightson Road
to when I was a dog on these streets;
if loving these islands must be my load.
out of corruption my soul takes wings,
But they had started to poison my soul
with their big house, big car, big time bohbohl,
coolie, nigger, Syrian and French Creole,
so I leave it for them and their carnival –
I taking a sea bath, I gone down the road.
I know these islands from Monos to Nassau,
a rusty head sailor with sea-green eyes
that they nickname Shabine, the patois for
any red nigger, and I, Shabine, saw
when these slums of empire was paradise.
I’m just a red nigger who love the sea,
I had a sound colonial education,
I have Dutch, nigger, and English in me,
and either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.”—"The Schooner Flight" by Derek Walcott. Epigraph from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
“From the otherworld of action and media, this
interleaved continuing plane is hard to focus;
we are looking into the light —
it makes some smile, some grimace.”—Les Murray. Epigraph from That Eye, The Sky by Tim Winton
“We receive and we lose, and we must try to achieve gratitude; and with that gratitude to embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses.”—Andre Dubus II, Broken Vessels. Epigraph from The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz
“In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.”—Margaret Atwood, from “Morning in the Burned House.” Epigraph from A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
“Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither,
Your schemes, politics, fail—lines give way—substances mock and elude me,
Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possess’d Soul, eludes not,
One’s-self must never give way—that is the final substance—that out of all is sure,
Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life—what at last finally remains?
When shows break up, what but One’s-Self is sure?”—Walt Whitman, “Quicksand Years.” Epigraph from The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
“Besides this earth, and besides the race of men, there is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits: that world is around us, for it is everywhere.”—Charlotte Bronte. Epigraph from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
“Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,”—Samuel Coleridge. Epigraph from Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares.
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”—Nelson Mandela. Epigraph from The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
“You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.”—Winston Churchill. Epigraph from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares