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Quotations from Animal Dreams
by Barbara Kingsolver, 1990


There's a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried.  The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other.  I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves.  But the rows were like this, dizzying, diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn't a forest but an orchard of graves.  Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Few people know so clearly what they want.  Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Terms like that, "Humane Society," are devised with people like me in mind, who don't care to dwell on what happens to the innocent.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


We're animals.  We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Codi:  "So you think we all just have animal dreams.  We can't think of anything to dream except our ordinary lives."
Loyd:  "Only if you have an ordinary life.  If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life."
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Why is it that only girls stand on the sides of their feet?  As if they're afraid to plant themselves?  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Codi:  "Gives you the willies, doesn't it?  The thought of raising kids in a place where the front yard ends in a two-hundred-foot drop?
Loyd:  "No worse than raising up kids where the front yard ends in a freeway."
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams, referring to cliff dwellings


Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Loyd:  "It has to do with keeping things in balance.  It's like the spirits have made a deal with us.  We're on our own.  The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we're saying:  We know how nice you're being.  We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took.  Sorry if we messed up anything.  You've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests."
Codi:  "Like a note you'd send somebody after you'd stayed in their house?"
Loyd:  "Exactly like that.  'Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch.  I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup.  Sorry, I hope it wasn't your favorite one.'"
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


To people who think of themselves as God's houseguests, American enterprise must seem arrogant beyond belief.  Or stupid.  A nation of amnesiacs, proceeding as if there were no other day but today.  Assuming the land could also forget what had been done to it.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run.  The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Why does a person even get up in the morning?  You have breakfast, you floss your teeth so you'll have healthy gums in your old age, and then you get in your car and drive down I-10 and die.  Life is so stupid I can't stand it.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


The truth needs so little rehearsal.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams



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