"'I realize now,' I went on relentlessly. 'More than a person, I'm a convenience store worker. Even if that means I'm abnormal and can't make a living and drop down dead, I can't escape that fact. My very cells exist for the convenience store.'"

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

"'She told me she met the love of her life,' Zohra says at last, still staring out the window. 'You read poems about it, you hear stories about it, you hear Sicilians talk about being struck by lightning. We know there's no love of your life. Love isn't terrifying like that. It's walking the fucking dog so the other one can sleep in, it's doing taxes, it's cleaning the bathroom without hard feelings. It's having an ally in life. It's not fire, it's not lightning. It's what she always had with me. Isn't it? But what if she's right, Arthur? What if the Sicilians are right? That it's this earth-shattering thing she felt? Something I've never felt. Have you?' Less begins to breathe unevenly."

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

"That's not what I mean, she says. I'm tired of the news. I'm tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren't, and deals so simplistically with what's truly appalling. I'm tired of the vitriol. I'm tired of the anger. I'm tired of the meanness. I'm tired of the selfishness. I'm tired of how we're doing nothing to stop it. I'm tired of how we're encouraging it. I'm tired of the violence there is and the violence that's on its way, that's coming, that hasn't happened yet. I'm tired of liars. I'm tired of sanctified liars. I'm tired of how these liars have let this happen. I'm tired of having to wonder whether they did it out of stupidity or did it on purpose. I'm tired of lying governments. I'm tired of people not caring whether they're being lied to any more. I'm tired of being made to feel this fearful. I'm tired of animosity. I'm tired of pusillanimosity.
I don't think that's actually a word, Elisabeth says.
I'm tired of not knowing the right words, her mother says."

Autumn by Ali Smith

"Be joyful/though you have considered all the facts."

The Country of Marriage by Wendell Berry

"I told you I should be buried with your ring at my finger, which I intend to do...your ring at my finger and your face in my heart as long as I live."

Letter from Simone De Beauvoir to Nelson Algren

"The greatest difficulty was to find a way of disguising the hyena's face. We spent hours and hours looking for a way, but she always rejected my suggestions. At last she said, 'I think I've found the answer. Have you got a maid?' 'Yes,' I said, puzzled. 'There you are then. Ring for your maid, and when she comes in we'll pounce upon her and and tear off her face. I'll wear her face tonight instead of mine.' 'It's not practical,' I said. 'She'll probably die if she hasn't got a face. Somebody will certainly find the corpse, and we'll be put in prison.'

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington

"When I got out into the Place de l'Odéon I am feeling happy, what with my new hair and my new hat and the good meal and the wine and the fine and the coffee and the smell of night in Paris. I'm not going to any beastly little bar tonight. No, tonight I'm going somewhere where there's music; somewhere I can be with a lot of people; somewhere where there's dancing. But where? By myself, where can I go? I'll have one more drink first and then think it out."

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

"But increasingly, she said, this position feels like I am standing on a small rock in the ocean that is getting even smaller by the minute as the water rises. There has been no territory marked out, she said, and so there is no place where I can take a step and find myself on dry land. It perhaps remains the case, she said, that for a woman to have a territory she must live as Bourgeois's spider, unless she is prepared to camp on male territory and abide by its terms."

Kudos by Rachel Cusk

"Equally damaging is our insistence that all bodies should be healthy. Health is not a state we owe the world. We are not less valuable, worthy or lovable because we are not healthy...there is no standard of health that is achievable for all bodies. Our belief that there should be anchors the systemic oppression of ableism and reinforces the notion that people with illnesses and disabilities have defective bodies rather than different bodies...We must move from occasionally celebrating difference...to developing a difference-celebrating culture."

The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

Quoting Rilke's "Ninth Elegy":
But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all. Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too, Just once. And never again.

This Close to Happy by Daphne Merkin