The thing that gave her pleasure, perhaps the only thing, was reading and more than anything she liked to read about the sea. At the moment, she said, she was reading a book that had a hundred words for the sea, words she had never seen before and other words, better words, words that were more helpful because they were common. She said she liked the book because the men in it were as obsessed and insane as the people she knew; and though it was a big book the chapters were short, like poems, short and mystifying, and there were songs – sea shanties and lullabies and drinking songs and strange chants to make men brave.Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
Two hungry people should never make friends. If they do, they eat each other up. It is the same with one person who is hungry and another who is full: they cannot be real, real friends because the hungry one will eat the full one. You understand?”
“Yes, grandfather.” She was scared now, because she knew he wasn’t talking about food-hungry. She almost understood what he was saying; she was sure of it.
“Only two people who are full up can be friends. They don’t want anything from each other except friendship…Helen Oyeyemi, The Icarus Girl
Then the grown-up would say, “What’s the matter, Jess? Why are you sad?” And she’d have to explain that she wasn’t sad, just tired, though how she could be so tired in the middle of the day with the sun shining and everything, she didn’t know. It made her feel ashamed.Helen Oyeyemi, The Icarus Girl
He’d tried to explain it to her, how accidents happen but we really are safe. But there was, already, the sense that nothing he said touched what was really bothering her, which was the realization that you can’t stop bad things from happening to other people, other things. And that would be hard forever. He’d never quite gotten used to it himself.Megan Abbott, The Fever: A Novel
“Emma’s eyes were instantly withdrawn; and she sat silently meditating, in a fixed attitude, for a few minutes. A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like her’s, once opening to suspicion, made rapid progress. She touched — she admitted — she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!”
theme (c) • 2011–2014