Famous Quotes & Sayings

Karen Thompson Walker Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Karen Thompson Walker.

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Karen Thompson Walker Quotes 1243071

So much that seems harmless in daylight turns imposing in the dark. What else, you had to wonder, was only a trick of light? — Karen Thompson Walker

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Doesn't every previous era feel like fiction once it's gone? — Karen Thompson Walker

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Months later, Michaela's mother would spread a star chart before us and explain to me that the slowing had shifted everyone's astrological signs. Fortunes had changed. Personalities had rearranged. The unlucky had turned lucky. The lucky had turned less so. Our fates, so long ago written in the stars, had been rewritten in a day. — Karen Thompson Walker

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It was the lifeless middle of a bright white night. Our — Karen Thompson Walker

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I've become a collector of stories about unlikely returns: the sudden reappearance of the long-lost son, the father found, the lovers reunited after forty years. Once in awhile, a letter does fall behind a post office desk and lie there for years before it's finally discovered and delivered to the rightful address. The seemingly brain-dead sometimes wake up and start talking. I'm always on the lookout for proof that what is done can sometimes be undone. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Art thrives in times of uncertainty. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I really believe that fiction functions best when stories are allowed to develop in an organic way, so I didn't set out to deliver a specific message. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Fear is ... a kind of unintentional storytelling that we are all born knowing how to do. — Karen Thompson Walker

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This was the first time I noticed it, the inevitable space between father and man. — Karen Thompson Walker

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It was a rough crossing, the one from childhood to the next life. And as with any other harsh journey, not everything survived. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I bet things will turn out okay," I said, gripped by an urge to say some cheerful thing - it rose up from my throat like a cough. "I bet it will be fine. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Gabby's house was the same model as ours but reversed. Her bedroom was the same bedroom as mine, the dimensions exactly equal. For twelve years, we'd slept between walls erected by the same construction crews and looked out on the same fading cul-de-sac through identically sized windows. Grown under similar conditions, we had become very different, two specimens of girlhood, now diverging. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I feel like writing a book there's always a version in your head that's an amazing version, but then you write the version that you can write. — Karen Thompson Walker

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To some degree we all live with uncertainty. We have no control over the future. Yet we carry on, we persevere, because, I guess, it's the way we're made. — Karen Thompson Walker

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My sentences got sharper and my stories more efficient, and I gradually learned to imagine the reader more clearly and to empathize with that imagined reader, which is a crucial part of learning to tell stories. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I never knew until then that snow made everything quiet, somehow silencing all the world's noise. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Sometimes I think I might not have written 'The Age of Miracles' if I hadn't grown up in California, if I hadn't been exposed to its very particular blend of beauty and disaster, of danger and denial. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I listened for a while to the reassuring sound of that boy breathing near me. I watched the slight movement of his eyelids as he dreamed. It wasn't enough just to be near him. I wished I could see what he was dreaming right then. I would have traveled even there with him. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I left my job in the fall, and now I can set my life up around writing instead of squeezing writing into my day; it's amazing to have that time, and I feel very lucky. — Karen Thompson Walker

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End-of-the-world stories tend to ring true. I've always been drawn to them, but as I wrote my own, I found surprising pleasure in creating a world that is so radically changed, yet where there's so much meaning and value in every small and ordinary thing we have, and take for granted: hot showers, enough food, friends, routines. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I'd grown up hearing stories about the special hazards that girls faced. I knew where the bodies were found: naked on beaches or cut into pieces, parts frozen in freezers or buried in cement. These stories were never kept from us girls. Instead they were spread around like ghost stories, our parents hoping that fear would do the job that our judgment might not. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Some say that love is the sweetest feeling, the purest form of joy, but that isn't right. It's not love
it's relief. — Karen Thompson Walker

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An editor is like a professional reader, and as I became a better reader, I also became a better writer. — Karen Thompson Walker

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But adrenaline, like any other drug, wears off. Panic, like any other flood, must crest. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I'm an only child, and I think one of the sweet things about that is that my parents are really interested in every aspect of my life. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I should have known by then that it's never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass; it's the ones you don't expect at all. — Karen Thompson Walker

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There's a pleasure in being reminded of the value of ordinary life. — Karen Thompson Walker

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She looked lonely through the lens of my telescope, like one of those faraway stars, still visible to our eyes but no longer really there. — Karen Thompson Walker

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The real catastrophes are always different-unimaginable, unprepared for, unknown — Karen Thompson Walker

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They say that humans can read each other in a hundred subtle ways, that we can detect messages in the subtlest movements of a body, in the briefest expressions of a face, but somehow, on that day, I had communicated with amazing efficiency the exact opposite of what I most wanted in the world. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I can write all the way through the morning, when my mind is clear, and there are no distractions. — Karen Thompson Walker

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My grandfather liked any story in which the unlikely turned out to be true. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Shortly after the 2004 Indonesian earthquake, I read that the earthquake had affected the rotation of the earth, shortening the length of our 24-hour day. Even though the change was extremely slight - only a few microseconds - I found the idea incredibly haunting. — Karen Thompson Walker

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My goal was just to tell the unlikely story in a way that would feel as convincing as possible. — Karen Thompson Walker

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We were a different kind of Christian, the quiet, reasonable kind, a breed embarrassed by the mention of miracles. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Of all the strange phenomena that befell us that year, maybe nothing surprised me more than the sound of that small question rolling out of Seth Moreno's mouth: Want to come? — Karen Thompson Walker

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I was a book editor for nine years. I'm familiar with the opposite experience, bracing myself for the likelihood that no one would want to publish my book. — Karen Thompson Walker

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One by one, the minutes poured in - and even a trickle, as we have come to understand, can eventually add up to a flood. — Karen Thompson Walker

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What went on in that head of his? I would soon come to understand that he gave voice to only a fraction of the thoughts that swam behind his eyes. It was not nearly so clean and smooth in there as it seemed. Other lives were houses in that mind, parallel worlds. Maybe we're all built a little that way. But most of us drop hints. Most of us leave clues. My father was more careful. — Karen Thompson Walker

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As strange as the new days seemed to us at first, the old days would come to feel very quickly the stranger. — Karen Thompson Walker

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This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove. Our first flaws were emerging, but they were being corrected. Blurry vision could be fixed invisibly with the magic of the contact lens. Crooked teeth were pulled straight with braces. Spotty skin could be chemically cleared. Some girls were turning beautiful. A few boys were growing tall. — Karen Thompson Walker

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We were like wanderers in a desert, blessed with a rare downpour, but unable to store the rain. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Later, I would come to think of those first days as the time when we learned as a species that we had worried over the wrong things: the hole in the ozone layer, the melting of the ice caps, West Nile and swine flu and killer bees. But I guess it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different - unimagined, unprepared for, unknown. — Karen Thompson Walker

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If I read a scary story in the newspaper, I find I'm haunted by it. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I liked the idea, how the past could be preserved, fossilized, in the stars. I wanted to think that somewhere on the other end of time, a hundred light years from then, someone else, some distant future creature, might be looking back at a preserved image of me and my father at that very moment in my bedroom. — Karen Thompson Walker

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How quaint the old twenty-four-hour clock began to look to our eyes, how impossibly clean-cut, with its twin sets of twelve, as neat as walnut shells. How had we believed, we wondered, in such simplistic things? — Karen Thompson Walker

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It took me years to learn that sentences in fiction must do much more than stand around and look pretty. — Karen Thompson Walker

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But I guess every bygone era takes on a shade of myth. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I knew everything about the back of that head - the swirl of his hair, the curve of his ear, the straight, sharp line of his jaw. I liked the way he smelled like soap even late in the afternoon. — Karen Thompson Walker

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the day we passed the wheat point. Now it was official: Wheat could no longer grow on this planet without — Karen Thompson Walker

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Maybe loneliness was imprinted in my genes, lying dormant for years but now coming into full bloom. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I could no longer remember the way my mother's eyes looked before the slowing. Had they always been so red around the edges? Surely, those pockets of gray beneath her lower lashes were new. She still wasn't sleeping well, but perhaps what I was seeing was just age, a gradual shift that I'd failed to register. I sometimes felt the urge to study recent photographs of her in order to locate the exact point in time when she had come to look so weary. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I had grown into a worrier, a girl on constant guard for catastrophes large and small, for the disappointments I now sensed were hidden all around us right in plain sight. — Karen Thompson Walker

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The books I love most are the ones that combine some sort of gripping story with really beautiful or stylish writing. Some of my favorites are 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy, 'The Virgin Suicides' by Jeffrey Eugenides, 'The Interpreter of Maladies' by Jhumpa Lahiri, and 'Blindness' by Jose Saramago. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Nothing has happened to me out of the closet that was anywhere near as dangerous as being closeted. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Don't believe everything you hear, okay? You're a smart girl. You can read between the lines. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Ours was a sudden bond, the kind possible only for the young or the imperiled. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I just hope that readers and publishers continue to appreciate good writing and good storytelling in all their various forms. And I hope that people continue to read books, even though we have so many other options for entertainment. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Perhaps the reasons for a man to leave his life were too obvious for him to name. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Working as an editor was like being a professional reader, and the better I became at reading the better I became at writing. — Karen Thompson Walker

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It did seem amazing, in that moment, that there had ever existed a creature with the power to fly. — Karen Thompson Walker

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She left her keys in the teeth of the lock where they would dangle all day. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I think we lost something else when we lost that crisp rhythm, some general shared belief that we could count on certain things. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret? — Karen Thompson Walker

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They were roundly dismissed as extremists - as if nothing so extreme could possibly be true. — Karen Thompson Walker

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And this one fact seemed to point to other facts and others still: Love frays and humans fail, time passes, eras end. — Karen Thompson Walker

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For days afterward, a series of magical thoughts flew through my mind. For instance, it seemed somehow surprising that the hours continued to pass in spite of what I knew. It was almost shocking that time did not, in fact, stop. — Karen Thompson Walker

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But most houses in California were built without roots, leaving us trapped above ground with the light. — Karen Thompson Walker

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He'd grown eager to hand off his things, as if the weight of his possessions kept him tethered to this earth, and by giving them away, he could snip those strings. — Karen Thompson Walker

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We were, on that day, no different from the ancients, terrified of our own big sky. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I felt an urgency like love. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Time moved differently for us that spring: A string of long afternoons was as good as a year. — Karen Thompson Walker

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How much sweeter life would be if it all happened in reverse, if, after decades of disappointments, you finally arrived at an age when you had conceded nothing, when everything was possible. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Something was happening to the earth's magnetic field. — Karen Thompson Walker

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It requires a certain kind of bravery, I suppose, to choose the status quo. There's a certain boldness to inaction. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I fell in love with Virginia Woolf in college. I especially admire how well she writes about daily life, how she captures so much meaning and consequence in the smallest details of a day. — Karen Thompson Walker

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These days, I like to think of sentences as workers. Only one of their jobs is to look and sound good. Sentences are the carriers of plot. They're the conjurers of images, the conveyors of tone and meaning and voice. The best sentences surprise us. — Karen Thompson Walker

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But doesn't every precious era feel like fiction once it's gone? After a while, certain vestigial sayings are all that remain. Decades after the invention of the automobile, for instance, we continue to warn each other not to 'put the cart before the horse'. So, too, we do still have 'day'dreams and 'night'mares, and the early-morning clock hours are still known colloquially (if increasing mysteriously) as 'the crack of dawn'. Similarly, even as they grew apart, my parents never stopped calling each other 'sweetheart'. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Feeling earthquakes was part of growing up, and also preparing for them: doing earthquake drills, or having earthquake supplies. The looming feeling was part of my life. My experience of earthquakes has always been more the fear of them, or the possibility. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I first started writing fiction in college because I was attracted to beautiful sentences. I loved to read them. I wanted to write them. — Karen Thompson Walker

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After the slowing, every action required a little more force than it used to. The physics had changed. Take, for example, the slightly increased drag of a hand on a knife or a finger on a trigger. From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of a regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known
no law of physics can account for desire. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I love conventional apocalypse movies. In movies, I like to be with the president, or the scientist trying to solve the problem, but that's not the kind of fiction that I like to read. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I wake up fairly early every day, by 8, for sure. Sunday is a lighter writing day than the weekdays, but I still wake up and write for about an hour, beginning right around 8. I definitely have coffee first, and then I start writing. I do think it's kind of hard to get the right level of concentration without coffee. — Karen Thompson Walker

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A good story, just like a good sentence, does more than one job at once. That's what literature is: a story that does more than tell a story, a story that manages to reflect in some way the multilayered texture of life itself. — Karen Thompson Walker

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What I understood so far about this life was there were the bullies and the bullied, the hunters and the hunted, the strong and the stronger and the weak — Karen Thompson Walker

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Of my grandfather's eighty-six years on the planet, he had lived two of them in Alaska ... But those two years had expanded, sponge-like, in his memory, overtaking much of the rest. Whole decades had passed in California without producing a single worthy anecdote — Karen Thompson Walker

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Our fears are an amazing gift of the imagination ... a way of glimpsing what might be the future when there's still time to influence how that future will play out. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Just like all great stories, our fears focus our attention on a question that is as important in life as it is in literature: What will happen next? — Karen Thompson Walker

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A single red bucket dangled from a single spoke like the last fruit of summer, or like autumn's final leaf. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Antidepressants were swimming in the rivers, and our bloodstreams were just as polluted as the waterways. — Karen Thompson Walker

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In general, I think I'm quick to worry about disasters of all kinds. — Karen Thompson Walker

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I like to edit my sentences as I write them. I rearrange a sentence many times before moving on to the next one. For me, that editing process feels like a form of play, like a puzzle that needs solving, and it's one of the most satisfying parts of writing. — Karen Thompson Walker

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To be a good editor or a good writer, I think you really need to be a great reader first. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Sentences or solutions occur to me in the shower, or while running on the treadmill, or riding on the subway. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Sometimes death is a proof of life. Sometimes decay points out a certain verve. We were young and we were hungry. We were strong and and growing stronger, so healthy we were bursting. — Karen Thompson Walker

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But the past is long, and the future is short. — Karen Thompson Walker

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How impossibly clean-cut, with its twin sets of twelve, neat as walnut shells. — Karen Thompson Walker

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Sometimes death is proof of life. Sometimes decay points out a certain verve. — Karen Thompson Walker

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As an editor, I read Charlotte Rogan's amazing debut novel, 'The Lifeboat,' when it was still in manuscript. I read it in one night, and I really wanted my company to publish it, but we lost it to another house. It's such a wonderful combination of beautiful writing and suspenseful storytelling. — Karen Thompson Walker