the next good book

The Rachel Incident

“I don’t know who I was trying to impress.  I did not want a boyfriend; I did want romance.  I wanted passion; I did not want to be someone who was known as easy.  I was desperate to be touched; I was terrified of being ruined.”

We All Want Impossible Things

“Hospice is just so existentially weird.  It’s like you walk in under a giant banner that says, EVERYONE HERE IS DYING! but then most of the time you’re just making small talk and quesadillas, trying to find something to watch on Netflix, or wondering if there’s any pie left.”

My Murder

“I was, in truth, a copy of that woman, the first and original Louise.  But I should never think of myself as that, they were quick to amend, as a copy.”

Greta & Valdin

“The houses in the suburb are too big, too grand, and the trees are too tall and imported.  People have gates with keypads to protect themselves from each other.  Expensive dogs yap through black iron bars as you walk by, letting you know you aren’t supposed to be there.  I always walks a bit more hastily than I usually do here, just in case the police come and take me away.  Maori male, approx. thirty years, thin build, seen enjoying the shade of a colonial tree.  Witnesses include a $3000 Pomeranian and ten high-tech home security systems.”

Going Infinite

“He knew he should feel grateful to Jane Street for finding value in him that no one else had, but he also knew that he didn’t. ‘To be truly thankful, you have to have felt it in your heart, in your stomach, in your head,- the rush of pleasure, of kinship, of gratitude,’  he wrote. ‘And I don’t feel those things. But I don’t feel anything, or at least anything good.  I don’t feel pleasure, or love, or pride, or devotion.  I feel the awkwardness of the moment enclosing on me.  The pressure to react appropriately, to show that I love them back.  And I don’t, because I can’t.’ “


“I recognized her type from my days at Marymount: she had that healthy, athletic, genetic- as I thought of it- confidence of one born to wealth.  The first thing she asked me, in fact, was if I played tennis; she was looking for a partner. I did not.”

Strange Sally Diamond

“Weekly shopping trips were always an ordeal.  I sometimes pretend to be deaf to avoid conversation, but I could hear the schoolchildren’s comments.  ‘Here she comes, Strange Sally Diamond, the weirdo.’ Dad said there was no malice in it.  Children are mean.  Most of them.  I was glad I was no longer a child.  I was a forty-two-year-old woman.”

So Late in the Day

“That was the problem with women falling out of love; the veil of romance fell away from their eyes, and they looked in and could read you.”

How to Say Babylon

“Walking behind her and behind her, I saw them- all the women who had put one foot in from to of the other and pushed their hands into the dirt. Women who had survived.  Women who had made me.”

The Bee Sting

“Then he said, I suppose that’s what everybody wants, isn’t it?  To be like everybody else.  But nobody’s like everybody else.  That’s the one thing we have in common.”