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- The march of human progress seemed mainly a matter of getting over that initial shock of being here.
- Animal Dreams (1990)
- I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw Newt Hardbine's father over the top of the Standard Oil sign. I'm not lying. He got stuck up there. About nineteen people congregated during the time it took for Norman Strick to walk up to the Courthouse and blow the whistle for the volunteer fire department. They eventually did come with the ladder and haul him down, and he wasn't dead but lost his hearing and in many other ways was never the same afterward. They said he overfilled the tire.
- The Bean Trees (1988)
- At some point in my life I'd honestly hoped love would rescue me from the cold, drafty castle I lived in. But at another point, much earlier I think, I'd quietly begun to hope for nothing at all in the way of love, so as not to be disappointed. It works. It gets to be a habit.
- Codi Noline, Animal Dreams (1990)
- He was wounded. I suppose some sharp thing in me wanted to sting him, for making me need him now. After he'd once cut me to the edge of what a soul will bear. But that was senseless.... I looked at this grown-up Loyd and tried to make sense of him, seeing clearly that he was too sweet to survive around me. I would go to my grave expecting the weapon in the empty hand.
- Codi Noline, Animal Dreams
- Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.
- Hallie Noline, Animal Dreams
- Every minute with a child takes seven minutes off your life.
- It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
- Emelina, Animal Dreams
- A wife is the earth itself, changing hands, bearing scars.
- The Poisonwood Bible (1998)
- Her body moved with the frankness that comes from solitary habits. But solitude is only a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot; every choice is a world made new for the chosen. All secrets are witnessed.
- Prodigal Summer (2000)
- We're animals. We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.
- Animal Dreams (1990), p 118.