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" You know, when I was a girl, the idea that the British Empire could ever end was absolutely inconceivable. And it just disappeared, like all the other empires. "
" I'll be pleased when I'm dead. That will let me off worrying about all these wars. "
" I haven't got the energy to write now. "
" Humanity's legacy of stories and storytelling is the most precious we have. All wisdom is in our stories and songs. A story is how we construct our experiences. At the very simplest, it can be: 'He/she was born, lived, died.' Probably that is the template of our stories - a beginning, middle, and end. This structure is in our minds. "
" All my friends' mothers were appalling women. "
All My Friends
" Sentimentality is intolerable because it is false feeling. "
" There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best. "
" If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air. "
" I'm very unhappy when I'm not writing. "
" Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel. "
" Everything all the time in a city is extraordinary! "
" I am always being described as having views that I've never had in my life. "
" I do have a sense, and I've never not had it, of how easily things can vanish. "
" This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are equipped. Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we - we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything. "
" There's an unconscious bias in our society: girls are wonderful; boys are terrible. And to be a boy, or young man, growing up, having to listen to all this, it must be painful. "
" I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. I'm delighted to win them all, the whole lot. "
" Some people obtain fame, others deserve it. "
" Things are not quite so simple always as black and white. "
Black And White
" What is a hero without love for mankind. "
" You cannot escape the fact that women mould your first five years, whether you like it or not. And I can't say I do like it very much. "
" I think kids ought to travel. I think it's very good to carry kids around. It's good for them. Of course it's tough on the parents. "
" It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important. "
" Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing. "
" I always hated Tony Blair, from the beginning. "
" Man, who is he? Too bad, to be the work of God: Too good for the work of chance! "
" Pearls mean tears. "
" It's very interesting what you don't care about. "
" I was writing all my childhood. And I wrote two novels when I was 17, which were terrible. And I'm not sorry I threw them out. So, I wrote. I had to write. You know, the thing was, I had no education. "
" In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better. "
" The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion. "
" I'm just a story teller. "