Everybody that went away suffered a broken heart. "I'm coming back some day," they all wrote. But never did. The old life was too small to fit anymore.

Annie Proulx

... there are four women in every man’s heart. The Maid in the Meadow, the Demon Lover, the Stouthearted Woman, the Tall and Quiet Woman.

Annie Proulx

If a piece of knotted string can unleash the wind, and if a drowned man can awaken, then I believe a broken man can heal.

Annie Proulx

If life was an arc of light that began in darkness, ended in darkness, the first part of his life had happened in ordinary glare. Here it was as though he had found a polarized lens that deepened and intensified all seen through it.

Annie Proulx

I rarely use the internet for research, as I find the process cumbersome and detestable. The information gained is often untrustworthy and couched in execrable prose. It is unpleasant to sit in front of a twitching screen suffering assault by virus, power outage, sluggish searches, system crashes and the lack of direct human discourse.

Annie Proulx

It is my feeling that a story is not finished until it is read, and that the reader finishes it through his or her life experience, prejudices, worldview and thoughts.

Annie Proulx

What I find to be very bad advice is the snappy little sentence, 'Write what you know.' It is the most tiresome and stupid advice that could possibly be given. If we write simply about what we know we never grow. We don't develop any facility for languages, or an interest in others, or a desire to travel and explore and face experience head-on. We just coil tighter and tighter into our boring little selves. What one should write about is what interests one.

Annie Proulx

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.

Annie Proulx

There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

Annie Proulx

Was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? Some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. And among the common bull's-eyes and peppermints a few rare ones; one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought clam and gentle pleasure. Were his fingers closing on that one?

Annie Proulx

Walking on the land or digging in the fine soil I am intensely aware that time quivers slightly, changes occurring in imperceptible and minute ways, accumulating so subtly that they seem not to exist. Yet the tiny shifts in everything--cell replication, the rain of dust motes, lengthening hair, wind-pushed rocks--press inexorably on and on.

Annie Proulx

He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.

Annie Proulx

And I think that's important, to know how the water's gone over the dam before you start to describe it. It helps to have been over the dam yourself.

Annie Proulx

No wonder, he thought, that the panhandle people were a godly lot, for they lived in sudden, violent atmospheres. Weather kept them humble.

Annie Proulx

Archie was an expert at dividing the affairs of life into men's business and women's business. An empty cupboard and a full plate were the man's business, a full cupboard and an empty plate the concern of the woman.

Annie Proulx