Famous Quotes & Sayings

Anne Tyler Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Anne Tyler.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Famous Quotes By Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1267296

My cousin Roger once told me, on the eve of his third wedding, that he felt marriage was addictive. Then he corrected himself. I mean early marriage, he said. The very start of a marriage. It's like a whole new beginning. You're entirely brand-new people; you haven't made any mistakes yet. You have a new place to live and new dishes and this new kind of, like, identity, this 'we' that gets invited everywhere together now. Why, sometimes your wife will have a brand-new name, even. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1042967

Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1328835

He would always make her feel too big and too gruff and too shocking; she would forever be trying to watch her words when she was with him. He was not the kind of person who liked her true self, for better or worse. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 357966

I'll write maybe one long paragraph describing the events, then a page or two breaking the events into chapters, and then reams of pages delving into my characters. After that, I'm ready to begin. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1258996

But it's like time is sort of ... balanced. We're young for such a small fraction of our lives, and yet our youth seems to stretch on forever. Then we're old for years and years, but time flies by fastest then. So it all comes out equal in the end, don't you see. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1859765

I have spent so long erecting partitions around the part of me that writes - learning how to close the door on it when ordinary lfe intervenes, how to close the door on ordinary life when it's time to start writing again - that I'm not sure I could fit the two parts of me back together now. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 354635

should join in on "Shall We Gather at — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1689406

For years, she had been in mourning for the way she had let her life slip through her fingers. Given another chance, she'd told herself, she would take more care to experience it. But lately, she was finding that she had experienced it after all and just forgotten, and now it was returning to her. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1919852

But what I hope for in a book - either one that I write or one that I read - is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don't want to think of the writer. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 152706

Sometimes she felt like a tiny gnat, whirring around her family's edges — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 306565

He honestly believed, for an instant, that what he'd heard was music-a tune piped, a burble of notes, a little scrap of melody floating by on wind and breaking his heart. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1762209

Ghosts ... they are the completions of the deads intended gestures, there unfinished plans still hanging in the air - something like when you forgot one thing and so you pantomime the motion. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1031309

Dying, you don't get to see how it all turns out. Questions you have asked will go unanswered forever. Will this one of my children settle down? Will that one learn to be happier? Will I ever discover what was meant by such-and-such? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2150966

During all the months when she had been absent, there were so many things I have saved up to tell her, so many bits of news about the house and the neighborhood and friends and work and family, but now they seemed inconsequential. Puny. Move far enough away from an event ans it sort of levels out, so to speak - settles into the general landscape. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1653088

She walked to work every day feeling starkly, conspicuously alone. It seemed that everyone else on the street had someone to keep them company, someone to laugh with and confide in and nudge in the ribs. All those packs of young girls who'd already figured everything out. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 905068

Albert tin. Why're — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1710565

Sunday 11:05 AM
Hi Kate I text you!
U r home now?
Spell things out, for heaven's sake. You're not some teenager.
You are home now?
No. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 595055

The thing about caller ID is," Red said, more or less to himself, "it seems a little like cheating. A person should be willing to take his chances, answering the phone. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 812907

As much as he hated the travel, he loved the writing - the virtuous delights of organizing a disorganized country, stripping away the inessential and the second-rate, classifying all that remained in neat, terse paragraphs. He cribbed from other guidebooks, seizing small kernels of value and discarding the rest. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 774286

He must have been thinking about this ahead of time. He must have consciously decided he wanted her, and imagined how it would be. The knowledge made her feel mysterious and desirable and grown-up. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1073731

I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 713772

But Nora had said, "Oh, no. I don't believe in dative evangelizing." Abby had repeated this later to the girls: "She doesn't believe in 'dative evangelizing. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 651194

It's hard being a man. Have you ever thought about that? Anything that's bothering them, men think they have to hide it. They think they should seem in charge, in control; they don't dare show their true feelings. No matter if they're hurting or desperate or stricken with grief, if they're heartsick or they're homesick or some huge dark guilt is hanging over them or they're about to fail big-time at something - 'Oh, I'm okay,' they say. 'Everything's just fine.' They're a whole lot less free than women are, when you think about it. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1012908

It is not how much you love someone, but who you are when you are with him. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1180783

Why did popular songs always focus on romantic love? Why this preoccupation with first meetings, sad partings, honeyed kisses, heartbreak, when life was also full of children's births and trips to the shore and longtime jokes with friends? Once Maggie had seen on TV where archaeologists had just unearthed a fragment of music from who knows how many centuries B.C., and it was a boys lament for a girl who didn't love him back. Then besides the songs there were the magazine stories and the novels and the movies, even the hair-spray ads and the pantyhose ads. It struck Maggie as disproportionate. Misleading, in fact. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 719085

Liam really enjoyed a good movie. He found it restful to watch people's conversations without being expected to join in. But he always felt sort of lonesome if he didn't have someone next to him to nudge in the ribs at the good parts. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2122018

But it has occurred to me, on occasion, that our memories of our loved ones might not be the point. Maybe the point is their memories - all that they take away with them. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 992934

Was just, seems like, born knowing how. He can figure — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1708829

We stay in the house so much because I am waiting for the telephone. I seem to be back in my teens, a period I thought I would never have to endure again: my life is spent hoping for things that only someone else can bring about. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1782512

She worded it a bit strongly, but I do find myself more and more struck by the differences between the sexes. To put it another way: All marriages are mixed marriages. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1734401

Sooner or later, even the sharpest pain became flattened. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1713362

She said, 'Red, I want to learn every step of you, and dance till the end of the night. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1975745

He must have some Tartar in him, don't you think?" "I have no idea," Kate said. "Or is it 'Tatar. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1697153

People who hadn't suffered a loss yet struck me as not quite grown up. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1695372

Their growing up amounted, therefore, to a gradual dimming of the light at her bedroom door, as if they took some radiance with them as they moved away from her. She should have planned for it better, she sometimes thought. She should have made a few friends or joined a club. But she wasn't the type. It wouldn't have consoled her. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1639234

Face it,' I said. 'There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be. You just do the best you can with what you've got,' I said. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1619855

Farmers are patient men. They got to be. Got to see those seeds come up week by week, fraction by fraction, and sweat it out for some days not knowing yet is it weeds or vegetables ... — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1613964

I mean you're given all these lessons for the unimportant things
piano-playing, typing. You're given years and years of lessons in how to balance equations, which Lord knows you will never have to do in normal life. But how about parenthood? Or marriage, either, come to think of it. Before you can drive a car you need a state-approved course of instruction, but driving a car is nothing, nothing, compared to living day in and day out with a husband and raising up a new human being. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1567883

You know how you just have to touch your child, sometimes? How you drink him in with your eyes and you could stare at him for hours and you marvel at how dear and impossibly perfect he is? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2085209

They were like people who run to meet, holding out their arms, but their aim is wrong; they pass each other and keep running. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2258809

One sad thing about this world is that the acts that take the most out of you are usually the ones that people will never know about.
(from 'Celestial Navigation') — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2241368

I consciously try to end my novels at a point where I won't have to wonder about my characters ever again. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2241040

She was good at talking with young people. She seemed to view them as interesting foreigners. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2230086

Alex Barrow's broad face, with the roughened skin that gave him an air of experience. His powerful, packed, wrestler's body. The thick black fur at the base of his throat. It was wrong to call him handsome, although all the women did. Really he was almost ugly, but in a stirring, thrilling way that made her shift in her seat as she thought about him. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2225932

It seems to me that good novels celebrate the mystery in ordinary life, and summing it all up in psychological terms strips the mystery away. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2208645

People imagine that missing a loved one works kind of like missing cigarettes,' he said. 'The first day is really hard but the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and easier the longer you go on. But instead it's like missing water. Every day, you notice the person's absence more. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2173475

Not invade her privacy! Just sit back and give up on her, as if she were a missing pet or mitten, or dropped penny. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2169008

But it was easier, somehow, to reflect on them all from a distance than to be struggling for room in their midst. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2144720

There was a certain liberation in talking to a man who didn't have a full grasp of English. She could tell him anything and half of it would fly right past him, especially if the words came tumbling out fast enough — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2095126

I suspect that marriage is like parenthood: every last one of us is an amateur at it ... — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1853669

I save the best of myself for novels, and I believe it shows. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2073397

When you have children, you're obligated to live. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2065531

Didn't anyone stop to reflect that the so-called old people of today used to smoke pot, for heaven's sake, and wear bandannas tied around their heads and picket the White House? When Amanda chided her for saying that something was "cool" ("I hate it when the older generation tries to copy the younger," she had said), did she not realize that "cool" had been used in Abby's time, too, not to mention long before? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2053153

I just want to be told a story, and I want to believe I'm living that story, and I don't give a thought to influences or method or any other writerly concerns. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2035480

There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be. You just do the best you can with what you've got. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 2033082

And she thought what a clean, simple life she would have led if it weren't for love. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1999616

he wrote a series of guidebooks for people forced to travel on business. Ridiculous, when you thought about it: Macon hated travel. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1264136

Who said, 'You're only ever as happy as your least happy child?' " she'd asked Ree in last week's pottery class. "Socrates," Ree answered promptly. "Really? I was thinking more along the lines of Michelle Obama. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1933171

If you catalogue grudges, anything looks bad. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1901399

Funny how you have to picture losing a thing before you think you might value it after all. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 536423

She liked to think that she was wearing her beauty out - using it up, she liked to think. She took some satisfaction in it, like a housewife industriously making her way through a jar of something she did not enjoy, would not buy again, but couldn't just discard, of course. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 808334

Didn't it often happen, she thought, that aged parents die exactly at the moment when other people (your husband, your adolescent children) have stopped being thrilled to see you coming? But a parent is always thrilled, always dwells so lovingly on your face as you are speaking. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 778841

One thing that parents of problem children never said aloud: it was a relief when the children turned out okay, but then what were the parents supposed to do with the anger they'd felt all those years? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 724254

It was ridiculous of her to feel so wounded. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 716389

You belong," he told her. "You belong just as much as I do, or, who, or Bitsy or ... It's just like Christmas. We all think the others belong more. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 707464

The Amateur Marriage grew out of the reflection that of all the opportunities to show differences in character, surely an unhappy marriage must be the richest. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 644341

I feel the place is falling apart on me, but Mrs. Scarlatti says not to worry. It always looks like that, she says. Life is a continual shoring up, she says, against one thing and another just eroding and crumbling away. I'm beginning to think she's right. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 615947

She saw herself riding in the passenger seat, Sam behind the wheel. Like two of those little peg people in a toy car. Husband peg, wife peg, side by side. Facing the road and not looking at each other; for why would they need to, really, having gone beyond the visible surface long ago. No hope of admiring gazes anymore, no chance of unremitting adoration. Nothing left to show but their plain, true, homely, interior selves, which were actually much richer anyhow. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 601008

The trouble with dying is you don't get to stay around and see how everything turns out. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 595791

I've always enjoyed studying the small clues that indicate a particular class level. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 836832

I really believe that most people who seem scary are just sad. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 478325

The hardest novel to write was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 425791

The disappointments seemed to escape the family's notice, though. That was another of their quirks: they had a talent for pretending that everything was fine. Or maybe it wasn't a quirk at all. Maybe it was just further proof that the Whitshanks were not remarkable in any way whatsoever. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 371595

I think it must be very hard to be one of the new young writers who are urged to put themselves forward when it may be the last thing on earth they'd be good at. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 366488

She had always assumed that when she was old, she would have total confidence, finally. But look at her: still uncertain. In many ways she was more uncertain now than she had been as a girl. And often when she heard herself speaking she was appalled at how chirpy she sounded - how empty-headed and superficial, as if she'd somehow fallen into the Mom role in some shallow TV sitcom. What on earth had happened to her? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 338820

He had stood there looking around him, hunting someone, and had not found whoever it was and turned to go; but in turning, he caught sight of Emily and paused and looked at her again, and then frowned and went on out. She had not actually been introduced to him for another week. But now it seemed to her that at his entrance
swinging through the library door, carrying a single book in his hand (his fingers fine-textured and brown, his shirtcuffs so perfectly white)
her life had suddenly bee set in motion. Everything had started up, as if complicated wheels and gears had finally connected, and had raced along in a blur from then on. It was only now, in this slowed-down room, that she had a chance to examine what had happened — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 275842

Disaster followed disaster ... the hero stuck in there, though. Macon had long ago noticed that all adventure movies had the same moral: Perseverance pays. Just once he'd like to see a hero like himself
not a quitter, but a man who did face facts and give up gracefully when pushing on was foolish. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 229177

A church without symbols, a church without baptism or communion where only the real things mattered and where the atonement must be as real as the sin itself, where for instance if you broke a playmate's toy in anger you must go home immediately and fetch a toy of your own, of as good or better quality, and give it to that playmate for keeps and then announce your error at Public Amending on Sunday. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 201374

Just like his daddy, but his daddy wants Red to be different from him. Isn't that always how it is? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 113528

It was funny, in her old age, to look back and see for how short a period her nest had NOT been empty. Relatively speaking, it was nothing - empty far longer than full. so much of herself had been invested in those children; who could believe how briefly they'd been with her. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1216750

Peculiar, isn't it?" he said. "First you're scolding your children and then all at once they're so smart they're scolding you. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1493968

Sugar's cheek was smooth and taut beneath the veil. It felt like one of these netted onions in a grocery store. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1492843

A Japanese man festooned with cameras, a nun, a young girl in braids. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1443060

He wanted to say, Muriel, forgive me, but since my son died, sex has ... turned. (As milk turns; that was how he thought of it. As milk will alter its basic nature and turn sour.) I really don't think of it anymore. I honestly don't. I can't imagine anymore what all that fuss was about. Now it seems pathetic. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1418926

All those years when I was a child, longing for it to be 'my turn,' it hadn't ever occurred to me that my turn would be over, by and by. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1392605

And most of all, most emphatically of all, they hated how her favorite means of connecting was commiseration. "Oh, poor you!" she would say. "You're looking so tired!" Or "You must be feeling so lonely!" Other people showed love by offering compliments; Abby offered pity. It was not an attractive quality, in her children's opinion. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1351127

There is no sound more peaceful than rain on the roof, if you're safe asleep in someone else's house. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1336464

Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end
to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things
even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos
ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 91921

Last night I dreamed about her," he said. "She had this shawl wrapped around her shoulders with tassels hanging off it, and her hair was long like old times. She said, 'Red, I want to learn every step of you, and dance till the end of the night.' " He stopped speaking. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose. Denny and Stem stood with a screen balanced between them and looked at each other helplessly.

"Then I woke up," Red said after a minute. He stuffed the handkerchief back in his pocket. "I thought, 'This must mean I miss having her close attention, the way I've always been used to.' Then I woke up again, for real. Have either of you ever done that? Dreamed that you woke up, and then found you'd still been asleep? I woke up for real and I thought, 'Oh, boy. I see I've still got a long way to go with this.' Seems I haven't quite gotten over it, you know? — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1220376

None of my own experiences ever finds its way into my work. However, the stages of my life - motherhood, middle age, etc. - often influence my subject matter. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1516033

Serious. She'd been frantic. Over his crib she had — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1155390

Sometimes, Kate was downright astonished by how much the women in the faculty lounge sounded like the little girls nattering away in Room 4. It — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1134165

But still, you know how it is when you're missing a loved one. You try to turn every stranger into the person you were hoping for. You hear a certain piece of music and right away you tell yourself that he could have changed his clothing style, could have gained a ton of weight, could have acquired a car and then parked that car in front of another family's house. "It's him!" you say. "He came! We knew he would; we always ... " But then you hear how pathetic you sound, and your words trail off into silence, and your heart breaks. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1119948

Don't count on me to take you in because I'm angry. I'm angry at you for leading us on such a song and dance all these years, not just these few years but all the years, skipping all those holidays and staying away from beach trips and missing Mom and Dad's thirtieth anniversary and their thirty-fifth and Jeannie's baby and not attending my wedding that time or even sending a card or calling to wish me well. But most of all Denny, most of all: I will never forgive you for consuming every last little drop of our parents' attention and leaving nothing for the rest of us. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1043046

While armchair travelers dream of going places, traveling armchairs dream of staying put. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 1029915

At this moment (letting a breeze ripple through her fingers like warm water), Maggie felt that the entire business of time's passing was more than she could bear. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 976575

Not only had she paid him attention, but she had secretly taken more pleasure in him than in any of the others. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 969738

My decision to start a new one is just that, a decision, since I never get inspirations. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 845864

Smells could bring a person back clearer than pictures even could. — Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Quotes 844307

Each life is a kind of assignment, I believe," Eliza told her. "You're given this one assigned slot each time you come to earth, this little square of experience to work through. So even if your life has been troubled, I believe, it's what you're meant to deal with on this particular go-round. — Anne Tyler