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Barbara Kingsolver's Quotes

Barbara Kingsolver profile photo

Born: 1955-04-08
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Barbara Kingsolver

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I suppose that is my central obsession. What we owe to society, what we owe to ourselves.

Tags: Obsession, Ourselves, Society

I'm not pretending to be ingenuous; I know what I'm doing.

Tags: Pretending

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.

Tags: Grow, Guess, Quicker

It seems very safe to me to be surrounded by green growing things and water.

Tags: Growing, Seems, Water

Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.

Tags: American, Libraries, Off

Literature sucks you into another psyche. So the creation of empathy necessarily influences how you'll behave to other people.

Tags: Another, Creation, Literature

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.

Tags: Care, Mind, Society

We're animals. We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.

Tags: Lives, Thoughts, Whole

What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do is re-engage people with their own humanity.

Tags: Fiction, Humanity, Writer

When you pick up a novel from the bed side table, you put down your own life at the same time and you become another person for the duration.

Tags: Life, Put, Time

I used to think religion was just more of the same thing. Dump responsibility on the big guy. Now I see an importance in that. It's a relief to accept that not everything is under your control.

Tags: Big, Control, Religion

The important thing isn't the house. It's the ability to make it. You carry that in your brains and in your hands, wherever you go... It's one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.

Tags: Another, Else, Life

Being a novelist and being a mother have exactly coincided in my life: the call from my agent saying that I had a contract for my first novel - that was on my answering phone message when I got back from the hospital with my first child.

Tags: Life, Mother, Saying

Every time I write a new novel about something sombre and sobering and terrible I think, 'oh Lord, they're not going to want to go here'. But they do. Readers of fiction read, I think, for a deeper embrace of the world, of reality. And that's brave.

Tags: Brave, Reality, Time

I can count all the ways in which being a mother has enriched my understanding of the world, of character, my sense of the future and my attachment to it. I can't imagine what kind of writer I'd be if I didn't have my kids.

Tags: Character, Future, Mother

I think the most interesting parts of human experience might be the sparks that come from that sort of chipping flint of cultures rubbing against each other. And living on the border between Mexico and the U.S. for so many years gave me a lot of insight into that.

Tags: Experience, Human, Living

I've always seen the world through the eyes of a scientist. I love the predictable outcomes that science gives us, the control over the world that that can render.

Tags: Control, Love, Science

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.

Tags: Sometimes, Strength

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own.

Tags: Pain, Spiritual, War

Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.

Tags: Memory, Relative, Truth

Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.

Tags: Dog, Off, Tell

What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive.

Tags: Fact, Fine, Road

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.

Tags: Daily, Life, Work

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

Tags: Hope, Inside, Life

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.

Tags: Heart, Pain, Truth

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.

Tags: Hope, Inside, Life
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I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.

Tags: Living, Mind, Path

To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another that is surely the basic instinct - crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is!

Tags: After, Life, Time

There's always a part of your nation's history that you haven't been told that... has a powerful impact on how you yourself may behave and may believe.

Tags: History, Powerful, Yourself

Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger.

Tags: Create, Empathy, Stranger

It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

Tags: Memory, Surprising, Time

What you lose in blindness is the space around you, the place where you are, and without that you might not exist. You could be nowhere at all.

Tags: Lose, Might, Place

Small change, small wonders - these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately of my life.

Tags: Change, Life, Small

The truth needs so little rehearsal.

Tags: Needs, Rehearsal, Truth

People's dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.

Tags: After, Dreams, Soul

At home, growing up, we weren't really poor. We had everything we needed, we just didn't have what we wanted.

Tags: Home, Poor, Wanted

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.

Tags: Clearly, Few, Hope

Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life.

Tags: Eyes, Good, Life

I do my best work if I think about what it is I have to offer.

Tags: Best, Offer, Work

I don't understand how any good art could fail to be political.

Tags: Art, Good, Political

I grew up aware of all the people I depended on and who depended on me.

Tags: Aware, Depended

I never think that anything I'm writing is bluntly political in any way. I'm not going for commentary.

Tags: Commentary, Political, Writing
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