There was likely no one more surprised than Margaret Mitchell (1900 – 1949) herself when her novel Gone With The Wind. It became such a publishing phenomenon. It was published in over 40 countries, and adapted into the faithful 1939 film. She may have modeled Scarlett O’Hara, one of the most complex and charismatic of literary heroines, after herself. Here are quotes from GWTW and other gems from the pen of Margaret Mitchell. Read More→
Martha Gellhorn (1908 – 1998) was a war correspondent that covered nearly every major global conflict in the course of her 60-year career, from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam to the Central American wars of the 1980s Also a prolific novelist and travel writer, she was briefly married to Ernest Hemingway, but didn’t want to be a “footnote” to his life. Bold and fearless, Martha Gellhorn’s cyncal view of humanity comes through in this selection of quotes.
“Gradually I came to realize that people will more readily swallow lies than truth, as if the taste of lies was honey, appetizing, a habit.”
“Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival” (Travels with Myself and Another, 1978) Read More→
Ann Petry’s novel, The Street (1946) presents the story of struggle from the perspective of a single mother trying to raise her son to avoid the dangerous influences surrounding their home setting in Harlem. Here are selected quotes from The Street, the first novel by an African-American woman author to sell over a million copies.
“Her voice had a thin thread of sadness running through it that made the song important, that made it tell a story that wasn’t in the words – a story of despair, of loneliness, of frustration. It was a story that all of them knew by heart and had always known because they had learned it soon after they were born and would go on adding to it until the day they died.”
“I’m young and strong, there isn’t anything I can’t do.” Read More→
Christina Stead (1902 – 1983), the Australian-born novelist and short story writer, was best known for the novel The Man Who Loved Children. She was considered a misanthrope and curmudgeon, an unapproachable person who revealed little of herself even as she self-invented. In her works, the main characters were often based on herself and the stories very close to her own life. Here are quotes from this talented but somewhat bitter author:
“Creation of something out of nothing is the most primitive of human passions and the most optimistic.” (“The Writers Take Sides,” report on the First International Congress of Writers, Paris, June 1935, The Left Review, 1935)
“I don’t know what imagination is, if not an unpruned, tangled kind of memory.” (Letty Fox: Her Luck, 1946) Read More→
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was first published as a book in 1911 after being serialized starting in 1909. It’s the story of Mary Lennox, a sour, sickly and neglected 10-year-old, born to wealthy British parents in India who never really loved her. Her redemption through learning to care for others has made this a timeless classic. Here are some touching quotes from A Secret Garden.
“Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.”
“Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it.” Read More→