Fiction helps me to reconnect with the true, deep weirdness inherent in everyday reality, in our dealings with one another, in just being alive.

— Karen Russell

The most fulfilling Karen Russell quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Hopes were wallflowers. Hopes hugged the perimeter of a dance floor in your brain, tugging at their party lace, all perfume and hems and doomed expectation. They fanned their dance cards, these guests that pressed against the walls of your heart.

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I spent most of my 20s with these alligator wrestlers in the swamps of South Florida.

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My older sister has entire kingdoms inside of her, and some of them are only accessible at certain seasons, in certain kinds of weather.

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It is a special kind of homelessness to be evicted from your dreams.

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Self-disciplin e is necessary, but so is playfulness, flexibility, joy.

When you stop demanding perfection of yourself, your writing desk will become a spacious place.

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There are certain prehistoric things that swim beyond extinction.

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A food truce, the picnic suspension of oedipal feeling that permits the generations to love each other at family reunions.

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I came to hate the complainers, with their dry and crumbly lipsticks and their wrinkled rage and their stupid, flaccid, old-people sun hats with brims the breadth of Saturn's rings.

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People really get myopic as they get older.

We're not a culture that encourages dreaming or distraction. We're not ever good at just being. I remember reading some Adrienne Rich quote where she talks about how important it was just to watch bubbles rise in a glass.

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I would love to travel around the world working for a travel company taking students abroad on cultural immersion trips.

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It took me the bulk of my twenties to write one book about a family of alligator wrestlers. Whereas somebody like Steve Martin is releasing his latest banjo symphony, having just completed another movie and acclaimed, best-selling novel.

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Given the brevity of our time here, it does seem likely that our species, too, must have at best a blinkered understanding of the shape of things, the import of certain events and what distinguishes "good" from "bad" luck.

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About Karen Russell

Quotes 73 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday July 10, 1981

It's funny, for a long time I would go watermelon-red and deny that I was a magical realist. It felt imprecise to me, a misrepresentation.

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I have a B.A. in Spanish, so briefly I thought that somebody might pay me to speak Spanish badly in another country, like Norway.

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When I was younger I used to lock myself in the bathroom and read in the dry tub. I was also a fan of the 'shoe closet.' Reading felt thrilling and illicit and deeply private to me, and I felt vulnerable doing it in public.

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It remains unbelievable to me that I have any readers beyond my own blood relations - it's a crazy, wild gift.

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The folks I read as a kid really set me up. I owe a huge debt to Ray Bradbury and Madeleine L'Engle.

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I didn’t realize that one tragedy can beget another, and another — bright-eyed disasters flooding out of a death hole like bats out of a cave.

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My mom says I'm destined to be the sort of man who uses big words but pronounces them incorrectly.

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I moved to New York with the derangement of love.

I was writing all these terrible stories, but I had never been happier.

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The girl has a funny way of romanticizing things.

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Mythology is a really beautiful vocabulary passed down through centuries that helps us understand the perennial parts of our nature.

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You small mortals don't realize the power of your stories.

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Could we betray our parents by going back to them?

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No, I don’t have to tell a soul about this, I promised myself.

When you are a kid, you don’t know yet that a secret, like an animal, can evolve. Like an animal, a secret can develop a self-preserving intelligence. Shaglike, mute and thick, a knowledge with a fur: your secret.

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In short stories there's more permission to be elliptical.

You can have image-logic, or it's almost like a poem in that you can come to a lot of meanings within a short space.

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Madness, as I understood it from books, meant a person who was open to the high white whine of everything.

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I had been eagerly waiting just such a disaster.

Storms, wolves, snakebite, floods-these are the occasions to find out how your father sees you, how strong and necessary he thinks you are.

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Pain collected into deep pockets and I was aware of this painbut somehow I could not seem to feel it. It was like a body-deafness.

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I do think that I have a more flexible view of the interactions between people, and between human and non-human protagonists, humans and their landscapes.

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Regret is a pilgrimage back to the place where I was free to choose.

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My backyard was replete with madness, it just grew indigenously in South Florida.

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A single note, held in an amber suspension of time, like a charcoal drawing of Icarus falling. It was sad and fierce all at once, alive with a lonely purity. It went on and on, until my own lungs were burning. “What bird are you calling?” I asked finally, when I couldn’t stand it any longer. The Bird Man stopped whistling. He grinned, so that I could see all his pebbly teeth. “You.

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I really try to write every day. It's hard, but it's my favorite thing to do. So, it's usually not too, too hard.

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Heaven, Kiwi thought, would be the reading room of a great library.

But it would be private. Cozy. You wouldn't have to worry about some squeaky-shoed librarian turning the lights off on you or gauging your literacy by reading the names on your book spines, and there wouldn't be a single other patron. The whole place would hum with a library's peace, filtering softly over you like white bars of light.

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I think that's the real horror story for me, how little you can ever really know about your own motivations. How in the dark we all are about the concerns and the contents of our minds.

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But if you kept thinking about a fight you’d lost, Mom said, you were programming yourself to lose again.

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So much of the way books get classified has to do with marketing decisions.

I think it's more useful to think of literary books and sci-fi/fantasy books as existing on a continuum.

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Sometimes, when you're writing sentence by sentence, you're not really sure what footprints you're going to fall into, or what ghosts might appear.

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You don't want people to think you're just writing stories for children about a pig in a tutu.

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I'm probably a lot closer than perhaps the contents of my early fiction suggest to a jaded Denny's waitress with smoker's-lung-black humor than a ghost hunter.

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The beginning of the end can feel a lot like the middle when you are living in it.

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America's great talent, I think, is to generate desires that would never have occurred, natively,... and to make those desires so painfully real that money becomes a fiction, an imaginary means to some concrete end.

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Sometimes it can feel like the whole globe is spinning with irredeemable losses, capricious natural disasters and crimes so outrageously evil they dismantle any attempt to solve or explain them.

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And I do think that great fiction, even when it's comedic, has an urgency or an inevitability to it, a sense that the writer absolutely had to write this particular story in this way.

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I tended to be drawn to the weirder, darker stuff. Horror and sci-fi anthologies.

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I often felt myself to be an outsider, which is great training for all writers.

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It was sad and fierce all at once, alive with a lonely purity.

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Whenever someone asks me about fantasy versus realism, I'm like, "I don't know, guys. Did we not all just descend into some underworld, watch strangers from our past kaleidoscope through us according to some pattern that is both illogical and has its own strange melting truth, and then wake up and have a Pop-Tart?" Why are we talking about fantasy and reality like they're opposed?

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