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" The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten or twenty years to repair. "
" The most important thing about myself is that my life has been full of changes. Therefore, when I observe the world, I don't expect to see it just like I was seeing the fellow who lives in the next room. "
" Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation. This is what I try to tell my students: this is one great thing that literature can do - it can make us identify with situations and people far away. "
" One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. "
" The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience. "
" I tell my students, it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders. "
" A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership. "
" There's no lack of writers writing novels in America, about America. Therefore, it seems to me it would be wasteful for me to add to that huge number of people writing here when there are so few people writing about somewhere else. "
" People say that if you find water rising up to your ankle, that's the time to do something about it, not when it's around your neck. "
" The whole idea of a stereotype is to simplify. Instead of going through the problem of all this great diversity - that it's this or maybe that - you have just one large statement; it is this. "
" Stories serve the purpose of consolidating whatever gains people or their leaders have made or imagine they have made in their existing journey thorough the world. "
" But I liked Yeats! That wild Irishman. I really loved his love of language, his flow. His chaotic ideas seemed to me just the right thing for a poet. Passion! He was always on the right side. He may be wrongheaded, but his heart was always on the right side. He wrote beautiful poetry. "
" When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see. "
" The problem with leaderless uprisings taking over is that you don't always know what you get at the other end. If you are not careful you could replace a bad government with one much worse! "
" What a country needs to do is be fair to all its citizens - whether people are of a different ethnicity or gender. "
" The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery. "
" When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool. "
" People from different parts of the world can respond to the same story if it says something to them about their own history and their own experience. "
" Art is man's constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him. "
" People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories. "
" When a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don't just turn it off one day. "
" Each of my books is different. Deliberately... I wanted to create my society, my people, in their fullness. "
" When I began going to school and learned to read, I encountered stories of other people and other lands. "
" When the British came to Ibo land, for instance, at the beginning of the 20th century, and defeated the men in pitched battles in different places, and set up their administrations, the men surrendered. And it was the women who led the first revolt. "
" A man who makes trouble for others is also making trouble for himself. "