Amy Hempel

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Amy Hempel (born December 14, 1951) is an American short story writer, journalist, and university professor at Brooklyn College.

Sourced[edit]

  • I would like to go for a ride with you, have you take me to stand before a river in the dark where hundreds of lightning bugs blink this code in sequence: right here, nowhere else! Right now, never again!
    • Tumble Home: A Novella and Short Stories

"She introduces me to a nurse as the Best Friend. The impersonal article is more intimate. It tells me that they are intimate, the nurse and my friend. 'I was telling her we used to drink Canada Dry ginger ale and pretend were were in Canada' 'That's how dumb we were,' I say. 'You could be sisters,' the nurse says. So how come, I'll bet they are wondering, it took me so long to get to such a glorious place? But do they ask? They do not ask. Two months, and how long is the drive? The best I can explain it is this - I have a friend who worked one summer in a mortuary. He used to tell me stories. The one that really got to me was not the gritiest, but it's the one that did. A man wrecked his car on 101 going south. He did not lose consciousness. But his arm was taken down to the bone - and when he looked at it - it scared him to death. I mean, he died. So I hadn't dared to look any closer. But now I'm doing it - and hoping that I will live through it."

    • Reasons to Live
  • When my mother died, my father's early widowhood gave him social cachet he would not have had if they had divorced. He was a bigger catch for the sorrow attached.
    • The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
  • Then the children went to bed, or at least went upstairs, and the men joined the women for a cigarette on the porch, absently picking ticks engorged like grapes off the sleeping dogs. And when the men kissed the women good night, and their weekend whiskers scratched the women's cheeks, the women did not think shave, they thought stay.
    • The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
  • I think of the chimp, the one with the talking hands.

In the course of the experiment, that chimp had a baby. Imagine how her trainers must have thrilled when the mother, without prompting, began to sign her newborn. Baby, drink milk. Baby, play ball. And when the baby died, the mother stood over the body, her wrinkled hands moving with animal grace, forming again and again the words: Baby, come hug, Baby come hug, fluent now in the language of grief."

    • Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel)
  • Maybe this is not a come-down-from-the-ledge story. But I tell it with the thought that the woman on the ledge will ask herself a question, the question that occurred to that man in Bogota. He wondered how we know that what happens to us isn't good?
    • The Man in Bogota

External links[edit]

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