Quotations From LAURA VAN DEN BERG


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  • “Winds shake the leaves and for a moment I smell smoke. I concentrate on the scent, but it vanishes into the aroma of rain and tree bark, the way one life can collapse into another and different people can stir within the same body, like bats thrashing inside a secret hollow.”
    Laura van den Berg, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
  • “Is there any greater mystery than the separateness of each person?”
    Laura van den Berg, Find Me
  • “I like having a job where I get to wear a mask all day.”
    Laura van den Berg, The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • “Over time, we became less sure we were something the other wanted to hold on to.”
    Laura van den Berg, The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • “If your unconscious mind wishes you to be well, you are well. If it wishes you to be sick, you become sick. If it wishes you to die, you die.”
    Laura van den Berg, Find Me
  • “I would whisper in the back row. Just run away. He never did, of course, and it wouldn’t have changed anything if he had.”
    Laura van den Berg, The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • “Hope is a seductive thing," he says. "Hope can make people lose all sense.”
    Laura van den Berg, Find Me
  • “If you have no way to mark the hours, no variance in the days, time will open its mouth and swallow you.”
    Laura van den Berg, Find Me
  • “I asked why we kept trying for so long, why we even came to Paris, if we both knew we never really stood a chance. “Because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “You’re supposed to keep working on your marriage.” It was awful to me, this idea that keeping a marriage together was like laying pipe or digging a ditch. But he was right: it was what people had told us we were supposed to do. We had listened to sentences containing words like “salvage” and “repair” and nodded dumbly, pretending we didn’t know any better. It was an affront to everyone involved.”
    Laura van den Berg, The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • “You look hard at all the wrongness in this new face, you look hard at the ways that wrongness has shaped it, and you have to decide if this new face is something you can live with.”
    Laura van den Berg, Find Me
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