- He wrote Helen that "a part of adolescence is feeling that there's no one else around you who's enough like yourself to understand you."
- The World According to Garp (1978), ch. 5
- Imagination, he realized, came harder than memory.
- The World According to Garp, ch. 5
- In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.
- The World According to Garp, ch. 19
- To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread, we were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense.
- The Hotel New Hampshire (1981), ch. 6
- You’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.
- The Hotel New Hampshire, ch. 11
- Never confuse faith, or belief — of any kind — with something even remotely intellectual.
- A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), ch. 9
- You can't learn everything you need to know legally.
- A Widow for One Year (1998), part II, ch. 7
- Life forces enough final decisions on us. We should have the sense to avoid as many of the unnecessary ones as we can.
- Until I Find You (2005), ch. 25, p. 493
Interview in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (1988)
- Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn’t know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn’t know he was a novelist either.
- Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.