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" I didn't know you could write about yourself. Nobody ever told me about this. "
" I don't know anything about a stock! "
" I was just dreaming, and if, if I'd written the book and nobody wanted it, I would have put it in the drawer and said, 'Well, I did that.' "
" I became a teacher all right. I wanted to become a teacher because I had a misconception about it. I didn't know that I'd be going into - when I first became a high school teacher in New York, that I'd be going into a battle zone, and no one prepared me for that. "
" Even when I went to the Lion's Head in the Village, where all you journalists would hang out, I was always peripheral. I was never really part of anything except the classroom. That's where I belonged. "
" Ireland, once you live there, you're seduced by it. "
" I can do no more than tell the truth. "
" It's like a series of waves hitting you. First, getting excerpted in the 'New Yorker' last summer, then getting published, then the best-seller list, the award, the movie deal, now this, a Pulitzer. "
" The part of Limerick we lived in is Georgian, you know, those Georgian houses. You see them in pictures of Dublin. "
" We don't look at teachers as scholars the way they do in Europe. In Spain you're called a professor if you're a high school teacher, and they pay teachers - they pay teachers in Europe. "
" You feel a sense of urgency, especially at my advanced age, when you're staring into the grave. "
" I admire certain priests and nuns who go off on their own and do God's work on their own, who help in the ghettos, but as far as the institution of the church is concerned, I think it is despicable. "
" Early in my teaching days, the kids asked me the meaning of a poem. I replied, 'I don't know any more than you do. I have ideas. What are your ideas?' I realized then that we're all in the same boat. What does anybody know? "
" I think there are two cities in the world - New York and Rome. "
" I was ashamed of it, of the poverty I came from. "
" Scatter my ashes on the Shannon. "
" Teachers have a million stories, but nobody consults them. "
" There's nothing in the world like getting up in front of a high-school classroom in New York City. They won't give you a break if you don't hold them. There's no escape. "
" We've had enough of the generals and movie stars. We want to hear about the ordinary people. "
" People who think I have insulted Ireland or Limerick or my family have not read the book! "
" I just have to proceed as usual. No matter what happens, nothing helps with the writing of the next book. "
" They tell me I'm on 'Politically Incorrect' with Ollie North. That should be a lot of fun. "
" I was a houseman, the lowest. I was just above - in the hierarchy of jobs, I was just above the Puerto Rican dishwashers - just above, so I felt superior to them. "
" Sure, I went through my 'J'accuse' phase. I was so angry for so long, I could hardly have a conversation without getting into an argument. And it was only when I felt I could finally distance myself from my past that I began to write about what happened - not just to me, but to lots of young people. I think my story is a cautionary tale. "
" They all went into the bar business. Which was a mistake, because they began to sip at the merchandise and it set them back, set us all back. Well, them more than I. "
" I'm always a great student of writers' work habits. Balzac sat at his desk dressed in a monk's robe, and he always had to have a rotten apple on his desk. The smell of the apple inspired him somehow. "
" I certainly couldn't have written 'Angela's Ashes' when my mother was alive, because she would have been ashamed. "
" I just wrote the book and was amazed and astounded that it became a bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize. It still hasn't sunk in. "
" One day a week should be set aside for field trips. "
" I didn't have to struggle at all to get an agent and a publisher. Everything fell into my lap. "
" I think I settled on the title before I ever wrote the book. "