Mark Haddon quote

"Stories about mental aberration and oddity only make sense in context. Just how do people live with someone who is peculiar, gifted, strange or alien? It's odd because there's a little part of me that wants to write about exotic, strange bizarre subjects. Instead, I've rather reluctantly realised that what I write about is families."

Mark Haddon

Born: September 26, 1962

Occupation: Novelist

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More quotes of Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon

You love someone, you've got to let something go.

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Mark Haddon

I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.

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Mark Haddon

He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up in my head like loaves in the factory where Uncle Terry works. The factory is a bakery and he operates the slicing...

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Mark Haddon

Sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don't know why we are sad, so we...

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Mark Haddon

Siobhan also says that if you close your mouth and breathe out loudly through your nose it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry and it all depends on how much air...

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Mark Haddon

Most murders are committed by someone who is known to the victim. In fact, you are most likely to be murdered by a member of your own family on Christmas day.

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Mark Haddon

People think that alien spaceships would be solid and made of metal and have lights all over them and move slowly through the sky because that is how we would build a spaceship if we were able to build...

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Mark Haddon

And what he meant was that maths wasn't like life because in life there are no straightforward answers in the end

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Mark Haddon

He really did not care whether he survived or not, so long as it rendered him unconscious and absolved him of responsibility.

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Mark Haddon

The one thing you have to do if you write a book is put yourself in someone else's shoes. The reader's shoes. You've got to entertain them.

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Mark Haddon

Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people's brains, or something about...

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Mark Haddon

Being clever was when you looked at how things were and used the evidence to work out something new.

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Mark Haddon

I rolled back onto the lawn and pressed my forehead to the ground again and made the noise that Father calls groaning. I make this noise when there is too much information coming into my head from the...

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Mark Haddon

Usually people look at you when they're talking to you. I know that they're working out what I'm thinking, but I can't tell what they're thinking. It is like being in a room with a one-way mirror in a...

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Mark Haddon

Books are like people. Some look deceptively attractive from a distance, some deceptively unappealing; some are easy company, some demand hard work that isn’t guaranteed to pay off. Some become friends...

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Mark Haddon

I want my name to mean me.

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Mark Haddon

... why I like timetables, because they make sure I don't get lost in time.

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Mark Haddon

I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their...

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Mark Haddon

I do not like strangers because I do not like people I have never met before. They are hard to understand.

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Mark Haddon

People say that you always have to tell the truth. But they do not mean this because you are not allowed to tell old people that they are old and you are not allowed to tell people if they smell funny...

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Mark Haddon

And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken...

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Mark Haddon

Science and literature give me answers. And they ask me questions I will never be able to answer.

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Mark Haddon

What actually happens when you die is that your brain stops working and your body rots, like Rabbit did when he died and we buried him in the earth at the bottom of the garden. And all his molecules were...

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Mark Haddon

Siobhan said that when you are writing a book you have to include some descriptions of things. I said that I could take photographs and put them in the book. But she said the idea of a book was to describe...

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Mark Haddon

And Father said, "Christopher, do you understand that I love you?" And I said "Yes," because loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth,...

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Mark Haddon

Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn't mean there isn't an answer to them. It's just that scientists haven't found the answer yet.

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Mark Haddon

On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.

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Mark Haddon

And it's best if you know a good thing is going to happen, like an eclipse or getting a microscope for Christmas. And it's bad if you know a bad thing is going to happen, like having a filling or going...

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Mark Haddon

...and I went into the garden and lay down and looked at the stars in the sky and made myself negligible.

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Mark Haddon

And because there is something they can’t see people think it has to be special, because people always think there is something special about what they can’t see, like the dark side of the moon, or...

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Mark Haddon

I do not tell lies. Mother used to say that this was because I was a good person. But it is not because I am a good person. It is because I do not tell lie.

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Mark Haddon

But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have...

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Mark Haddon

And this shows that people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth. And it shows that something called Occam's razor is true. And Occam's razor is not a razor that men shave with but a...

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Mark Haddon

The word "metaphor" means carrying something from one place to another . . . and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn't. This means that the word "metaphor" is a...

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Mark Haddon

There's something with the physical size of America... American writers can write about America and it can still feel like a foreign country.

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Mark Haddon

But I don't feel sad about it. Because Mother is dead. And because Mr. Shears isn't around anymore. So I would be feeling sad about something that isn't real and doesn't exist. And that would be stupid.

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Mark Haddon

For me, disability is a way of getting some extremity, some kind of very difficult situation, that throws an interesting light on people.

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Mark Haddon

From a good book, I want to be taken to the very edge. I want a glimpse into that outer darkness.

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Mark Haddon

Most adults, unlike most children, understand the difference between a book that will hold them spellbound for a rainy Sunday afternoon and a book that will put them in touch with a part of themselves...

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Mark Haddon

Every life is narrow. Our only escape is not to run away, but to learn to love the people we are and the world in which we find ourselves.

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Mark Haddon

If you enjoy math and you write novels, it's very rare that you'll get a chance to put your math into a novel. I leapt at the chance.

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Mark Haddon

Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.

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Mark Haddon

At 20, 25, 30, we begin to realise that the possibilities of escape are getting fewer. We have jobs, children, partners, debts. This is the part of us to which literary fiction speaks.

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Mark Haddon

With English literature, if you do a bit of shonky spelling, no one dies, but if you're half-way through a maths calculation and you stick in an extra zero, everything just crashes into the ravine.

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Mark Haddon

Appalling things can happen to children. And even a happy childhood is filled with sadnesses.

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Mark Haddon

As a kid, I didn't read a great deal of fiction, and I've forgotten most of what I did read.

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Mark Haddon

Bore children, and they stop reading. There's no room for self-indulgence or showing off or setting the scene.

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Mark Haddon

Children simply don't make the distinction; a book is either good or bad. And some of the books they think are good are very, very bad indeed.

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Mark Haddon

I don't mean that literary fiction is better than genre fiction, On the contrary; novels can perform two functions and most perform only one.

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Mark Haddon

I knew there was a story; once you find a dog with a fork through it, you know there's a story there.

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Mark Haddon

I like having my back pressed against a wall and being made to work harder so I don't embarrass myself.

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Mark Haddon

I read very, very little fiction as a kid. All the books I can remember are junior science books.

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Mark Haddon

I started writing books for children because I could illustrate them myself and because, in my innocence, I thought they'd be easier.

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Mark Haddon

I think good books have to make a few people angry.

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Mark Haddon

I think I've learnt that there is no character so strange that you haven't shared their experience in some small way.

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Mark Haddon

I think one of the things you have to learn if you're going to create believable characters is never to make generalizations about groups of people.

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Mark Haddon

I think the U.K. is too small to write about from within it and still make it seem foreign and exotic and interesting.

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Mark Haddon

I was born too late for steam trains and a lazy eye meant I'd never be an astronaut.

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Mark Haddon

I've come to realize that most good ideas are precisely the ones you can't describe.

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Mark Haddon

I've worked in television long enough to know that when you stop enjoying that type of thing you go home and do something else.

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Mark Haddon

I've written 16 children's books and five unpublished novels. Some of the latter were breathtakingly bad.

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Mark Haddon

Jane Austen was writing about boring people with desperately limited lives. We forget this because we've seen too many of her books on screen.

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Mark Haddon

Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.

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Mark Haddon

My book has a very simple surface, but there are layers of irony and paradox all the way through it.

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Mark Haddon

No one wants to know how clever you are. They don't want an insight into your mind, thrilling as it might be. They want an insight into their own.

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Mark Haddon

Show me the artist anywhere who's had an utterly stable mental life, and I'll buy you hot dinners for the rest of your life.

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Mark Haddon

The way of creating believable characters is not by conforming to a set of PC rules.

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Mark Haddon

Use your imagination, and you'll see that even the most narrow, humdrum lives are infinite in scope if you examine them with enough care.

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Mark Haddon

I am atheist in a very religious mould. I'm always asking myself the big questions. Where did we come from? Is there a meaning to all of this? When I find myself in church, I edit the hymns as I sing them.

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Mark Haddon

I don't remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one...

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Mark Haddon

I think most writers feel like they're on the outside looking in much of the time. All of us feel, to a certain extent, alienated from the stuff going on around us.

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Mark Haddon

A lot of roles for people with disabilities are quite patronising. It's a real pity when they are just used to give dull PC kudos to a drama, or when they're wheeled on in a tokenistic way without any...

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Mark Haddon

As a teenager, I was always this strange mixture of kind of vice-captain of the rugby team and sensitive artist type the rest of the time. I was sent away to this public school in the middle of nowhere,...

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Mark Haddon

As to the number of novels I've abandoned... I shudder to think. I have thrown away five completed novels, and that's a gruesome enough figure. But not necessarily a waste of effort.

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Mark Haddon

Humour and high seriousness... Perfect bedfellows, I think. Though I usually phrase it in terms of comedy and darkness. Comedy without darkness rapidly becomes trivial. And darkness without comedy rapidly...

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Mark Haddon

I am really interested in eccentric minds. It's rather like being fascinated by how cars work. It's really boring if your car works all the time. But as soon as something happens, you get the bonnet up....

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Mark Haddon

I better make the plot good. I wanted to make it grip people on the first page and have a big turning point in the middle, as there is, and construct the whole thing like a roller coaster ride.

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Mark Haddon

I have very fond memories of swimming in Walden Pond when we lived in Boston. You'd swim past a log and see all these turtles sunning themselves. Slightly disturbing if you thought about how many more...

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Mark Haddon

I suffer depression only in the sense that I am a writer. We don't have proper jobs to go to. We are on our own all day. Show me a writer who doesn't get depressed: who has a completely stable mood. They'd...

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Mark Haddon

I thought Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' was remarkable. Managing to be entertaining while still delivering all that hard science was a pretty good trick to pull off.

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Mark Haddon

I went to boarding school, and then I went to Oxford, and I know how easy it is for certain groups of people to become wholly insulated from ordinary life.

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Mark Haddon

Indeed, I am repeatedly astonished by the number of really good writers who understand human beings so well on paper but don't know how to deal with them in real life.

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Mark Haddon

Stories about mental aberration and oddity only make sense in context. Just how do people live with someone who is peculiar, gifted, strange or alien? It's odd because there's a little part of me that...

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Mark Haddon

The most difficult book I wrote was the fourth in a series of linked children's books. It was like pulling teeth because the publisher wanted exactly the same but completely different. I'd much rather...

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Mark Haddon

There's something rather wonderful about the fact that Oxford is a very small city that contains most of the cultural and metropolitan facilities you could want, in terms of bookshops, theatre, cinema,...

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Mark Haddon

And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth.

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Mark Haddon

You could ask for hugs if you were feeling sad or you'd hurt yourself, but when it happened spontaneously it made you feel warm inside.

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Mark Haddon

It wasn't about believing this or that, it wasn't even about good and evil and right and wrong, it was about finding the strength to bear the discomfort that came with being in the world.

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Mark Haddon

Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time...

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Mark Haddon

At teenage parties he was always wandering into the garden, sitting on a bench in the dark . . . staring up at the constellations and pondering all those big questions about the existence of God and the...

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Mark Haddon

Mother used to say it meant Christopher was a nice name because it was a story about being kind and helpful, but I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean...

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Mark Haddon

And then I thought that I had to be like Sherlock Holmes and I had to detach my mind at will to a remarkable degree so that I did not notice how much it was hurting inside my head.

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Mark Haddon

...people who believe in God think God has put human beings on earth because they think human beings are the best animal, but human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and...

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Mark Haddon

And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery…and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.

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Mark Haddon

... He had always rather liked emergencies. Other people's at any rate. They put your own problems into perspective. It was like being on a ferry. You didn't have to think about what you had to do or where...

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Mark Haddon

...and there was nothing to do except to wait and to hurt.

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Mark Haddon

But I said that you could still want something that is very unlikely to happen.

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Mark Haddon

Curious Incident is not a book about asperger's....if anything it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The book is not specifically...

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Mark Haddon

I could invent another world. I'm not terribly keen on this one.

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Mark Haddon

Many childrens writers dont have children of their own

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Mark Haddon

And when the universe has finished exploding all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall towards the centre...

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Mark Haddon

..because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling.

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Mark Haddon

Well, we're meant to be writing stories today,

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Mark Haddon

..and only sticks and stones can break my bones.

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Mark Haddon

At twenty life was like wrestling an octopus. Every moment mattered. At thirty it was a walk in the country. Most of the time your mind was somewhere else. By the time you got to seventy, it was probably...

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Mark Haddon

Then he asked if I didn’t like things changing. And I said I wouldn’t mind things changing if I became an astronaut, for example, which is one of the biggest changes you can imagine, apart from becoming...

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Mark Haddon

All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are.

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Mark Haddon

It exasperated her sometimes. The way men could be so sure of themselves. They put words together like sheds or shelves and you could stand on them they were so solid. And those feelings which overwhelmed...

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Mark Haddon

And it occurred to him that there were two parts to being a better person. One part was thinking about other people. The other part was not giving a toss what other people thought.

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Mark Haddon

Everyone has learning difficulties, because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult.

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Mark Haddon

...and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything

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Mark Haddon

Find the extraordinary inside the ordinary.

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Mark Haddon

One person looks around and sees a universe created by a god who watches over its long unfurling, marking the fall of sparrows and listening to the prayers of his finest creation. Another person believes...

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Mark Haddon

I find people confusing.

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Ann Curry

I try to do stories that make a difference -- stories that affect the way people think, stories that people need to hear -- and usually what drives me is to do stories about people who have no voice, people...

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Now Ive got this moniker that Im the foot-in-mouth gal, and I keep thinking, In what way? Because I said something you dont agree with? Because I said something you dont like? Im just telling you my opinion....

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But perhaps more important, as someone wishing to make a comment or two about contemporary life and values, I don't have to dig through libraries or travel to exotic lands to arrive at a view of our modern...

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I still do not know what impels anyone sound of mind to leave dry land and spend a lifetime describing people who do not exist. If it is child's play, an extension of make believe - something one is frequently...

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Peter Funt

The funny thing is that the process of coming up with an idea for a column or a 'Candid Camera' sequence is essentially the same thing. I just live my life with eyes and ears perhaps a little bit wider...

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Karl Barth

The angels laugh at old Karl. They laugh at him because he tries to grasp the truth about God in a book of Dogmatics. They laugh at the fact that volume follows volume, and each is thicker than the previous...

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Melissa Manchester

Everybody wants to write a hit song, but in Nashville people want to write the best song, which was my original intention as a singer/songwriter. ... I left because I could no longer make records that...

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Brenda Ueland

I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don't listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all - which is so important, too - to...

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Matthew Quick

I think it's strange to live in a house with someone you cannot talk to-especially when that someone is your father-and the thought makes me a little sad.

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Chester Bennington

It's cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I've been going through in one way or another.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He was not such a special person. He loved to read very much, and also to write. He was a poet, and he exhibited me many of his poems. I remember many of them. They were silly, you could say, and about...

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Rosemary Wells

According to how gifted we are, we are all given a large or small key to this treasury of wonders. I have been blessed with a small key to the world of the young. It's a place where good and evil are clearly...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss