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Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

40 of the best book quotes from Barbara Kingsolver
  1. #1
    “This forest eats itself and lives forever.”
  2. #2
    “If God had amused himself inventing the lilies of the field, he surely knocked His own socks off with the African parasites.”
  3. #3
    “Childhood was nothing guaranteed. It seemed to me, in fact, like something more or less invented by white people and stuck onto the front end of grown-up life like a frill on a dress.”
  4. #4
    “With no men around, everyone was surprisingly lighthearted.”
  5. #5
    “Since no one can read, every candidate is designated by a symbol. Wisely these men choose to represent themselves with useful things - knife, bottle, matches, cooking pot.”
  6. #6
    ″‘When I want to take God at his word exactly, I take a peep out the window at Creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us every day without a lot of dubious middle managers.‘”
  7. #7
    “The death of something living is the price of our survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.”
  8. #8
    “My father says a girl who fails to marry is veering from God’s plan - that’s what he’s got against college...”
  9. #9
    “There are Christians and then there are Christians.”
  10. #10
    “The loss of a life: unwelcome. Immoral? I don’t know.”
  1. #11
    “The rusted embroidery hoops left an unsightly orange ring on the linen that may have damaged my prospects for good.”
  2. #12
    “We Christians have our own system of marriage, and it is called Monotony.”
  3. #13
    “Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things can still happen. And if you are bad, you can still be lucky.”
  4. #14
    “‘You make it sound like she’s an accessory he needs to go with his outfit.’”
  5. #15
    “To resist occupation, whether you’re a nation or merely a woman, you must understand the language of your enemy. Conquest and liberation and democracy and divorce are words that mean squat, basically, when you have hungry children and clothes to get out on the line.”
  6. #16
    “Being dead is not worse than being alive. It is different, though. You could say the view is larger.”
  7. #17
    “Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place.”
  8. #18
    “God works, as is very well known, in mysterious ways. There is just nothing you can name that He won’t do, now and then.”
  9. #19
    “We aimed for no more than to have dominion over every creature that moved upon the earth.”
  10. #20
    “So much depends on the tone of voice.”

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  1. #21
    “I thought of the color pictures in my grade-school history books: Columbus striding up the beach in his leotards and feathered hat, a gang of wild-haired men in loin clothes scattering in front of him like rabbits. What a joke.”
  2. #22
    “The most amazing thing was the way that child held on. From the first moment I picked it up out of its nest of wet blanket, it attached itself to me by its little hands like roots sucking on dry dirt. I think it would have been easier to separate me from my hair.”
  3. #23
    “I wondered how many other things were lurking around waiting to take a child’s life when you weren’t paying attention. I was useless. I was crazy to think I was doing this child a favor by whisking her away from the Cherokee Nation.”
  4. #24
    “Sometimes in an environment of physical or emotional deprivation a child will simply stop growing, although certain internal maturation does continue. It’s a condition we call failure to thrive.”
  5. #25
    “They both wore clean work shirts, light blue with faded elbows. Esperanza had on a worn denim skirt and flat loafers. I had asked them please not to wear their very best for this occasion, not their Immigration-fooling clothes. It had to look like Turtle was going to be better off with me. When they came out that morning dressed as refugees I had wanted to cry out, No! I was wrong. Don’t sacrifice your pride for me. But this is how badly they wanted to make it work.”
  6. #26
    “Estevan and I talked about everything you could think of. He asked me if the alligator was a national symbol of the United States, because you saw them everywhere on people’s shirts, just above the heart.”
  7. #27
    “In our school there were different groups you would run with, depending on your station in life. There were the town kids, whose daddies owned the hardware store or what have you—they were your cheerleaders and your football players. Then there were hoodlums, the motorcycle types that cut down trees on Halloween. And then there were the rest of us, the poor kids and the farm kids. Greasers, we were called, or Nutters. The main rule was that there was absolutely no mixing.”
  8. #28
    “That’s not fair. You think you’re the foreigner here, and I’m the American, and I just look the other way while the President or somebody sends down this and that, shiploads of telephones to torture people with. But nobody asked my permission, okay? . . . Half the time I have no idea what’s going on around me here.”
  9. #29
    “You’re asking yourself, can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm’s way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can’t. But nobody else can either. Not a state home, that’s for sure . . . The best they can do is turn their heads while the kids learn to pick locks and snort hootch, and then try to keep them out of jail. Nobody can protect a child from the world. That’s why it’s the wrong thing to ask, if you’re really trying to make a decision.”
  10. #30
    “Esperanza and I knew the names of twenty other union members,” . . . “The teachers’ union did not have open meetings. We worked in cells, and communicated by message. Most people knew only four other members by name. This is what I am saying. In Guatemala, you are careful. If you want to change something, you can find yourself dead. This was not the—what do you call? The P.T.A.”
  1. #31
    “I stayed in school. I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding but I was there and staying out of trouble and I intended to finish.”
  2. #32
    “Sometimes I feel like I’m a foreigner too. I come from a place that’s so different from here you would think you’d stepped right off the map into some other country where they use dirt for decoration and the national pastime is having babies. People don’t look the same, talk the same, nothing. Half the time I have no idea what’s going on around me here.”
  3. #33
    “Does it make you tired, being so far away from what you know? That’s how I feel sometimes, that I would just like to crawl in a hole somewhere and rest. Go dormant, like those toad frogs Mattie told us about. And for you it’s just that much worse; you’re not even speaking your own language.”
  4. #34
    “Mattie’s, of course, was a tire store and sanctuary. Slowly I was coming to understand exactly what this meant. For one thing, people came and went quietly. And stayed quietly. Around to the side of Mattie’s place, above the mural Lou Ann and I called Jesus Around the World, there was an upstairs window that looked out over the park. I saw faces there, sometimes Esperanza’s and sometimes others, staring across the empty space.”
  5. #35
    “There were two things about Mama. One is she always expected the best out of me. And the other is that then no matter what I did, whatever I came home with, she acted like it was the moon I had just hung up in the sky and plugged in all the stars. Like I was that good.”
  6. #36
    “Mattie started up the machine, which made the front tires of Roger’s Toyota spin around, and after a minute she lay down on one shoulder and adjusted something under the front. She didn’t get that dirty, either. I had never seen a woman with this kind of know-how. It made me feel proud, somehow.”
  7. #37
    “Later that night when the kids were in bed I realized exactly what was bugging me: the idea of Lou Ann reading magazines for child-raising tips and recipes and me coming home grouchy after a hard day’s work. We were like some family on a TV commercial, with names like Myrtle and Fred. I could just hear us striking up a conversation about air fresheners.”
  8. #38
    “It must have been a very long time since Esperanza and Estevan had been in a place where they looked just like everybody else, including cops. The relief showed in their bodies. I believe they actually grew taller. And Turtle fit right in too; this was her original home. I was the odd woman out.”
  9. #39
    “We were stopped by Immigration about a hundred miles this side of the New Mexico border. Mattie had warned me of this possibility and we had all prepared for it as best we could. Esperanza and Estevan were dressed about as American as you could get without looking plain obnoxious: he had on jeans and an alligator shirt donated from some church on the east side where people gave away stuff that was entirely a cut above New To You. Esperanza was wearing purple culottes, a yellow T-shirt, and sunglasses with pink frames.”
  10. #40
    “I don’t even know anymore which home I miss. Which level of home. In Guatemala City I missed the mountains. My own language is not Spanish, did you know that?”

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Children's Books About Creation

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