A lot of people get so hung up on what they can't have that they don't think for a second about whether they really want it.

— Lionel Shriver

The most colorful Lionel Shriver quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

You can call it innocence, or you can call it gullibility, but Celia made the most common mistake of the good-hearted: she assumed that everyone else was just like her.

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My own apathy is bone chilling.

16

In a country that doesn't discriminate between fame and infamy, the latter presents itself as plainly more achievable.

16

For women, marriages foreclosed often resulted in an accumulation of booty;

for men, these failed projects of implausible optimism were more likely to manifest themselves in material lack. It was hard to resist the metaphorical impression that women got to keep the past itself, whereas men were simply robbed of it.

13

Funny how you dig yourself into a hole by the teaspoon.

10

But what's so great about being a perfectionist?.

.. You do all this work, and then the stuff you've made just pisses you off.

9

Now that children don't till your fields or take you in when you're incontinent, there is no sensible reason to have them, and it's amazing that with the advent of effective contraception anyone chooses to reproduce at all.

8

Giving anyone anything takes courage, since so many presents backfire.

A gift conspicuously at odds with your tastes serves only to betray that the benefactor has no earthly clue who you are.

6

Reading time is precious. Don't waste it. Reading bad books, or books that are wrong for a certain time in your life, can dangerously turn you off the activity altogether.

5

A successful lie cannot be brought into this world and capriciously abandoned;

like any committed relationship, it must be maintained, and with far more devotion than the truth, which carries on being carelessly true without any help.

4

Everything people do that doesn’t work has to be somebody else’s fault.

Next time you know, geezers’ll be suing the government for getting old and kids’ll be taking their mommies to court because they came out ugly.

3

Life is never easy so that is why I never lie about my age. I want credit for every damned year.

3

About Lionel Shriver

Quotes 95 sayings
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 16

We need to recognise that slowing population growth is one of the most cost-effective and reliable ways of easing pressure on our environment and securing a sustainable future for us all

3

The Web, the great time-killer that had replaced conspicuously passive television with its seductive illusion of productivity.

3

I first foreswore motherhood when I was about eight years old.

... [Children] were annoying. We were loud and sneaky and broke things. As an eight-year-old, maybe I was simply mortified by the prospect of being saddled with myself.

2

Teachers were both blamed for everything that went wrong with kids and turned to for their every salvation. This dual role of scapegoat and savior was downright messianic but even Jesus was probably paid better.

2

Kevin was a shell game in which all three cups were empty.

2

Only a country that feels invulnerable can afford political turmoil as entertainment.

2

The pediatrician must have thought me one of those neurotic mothers who craved distinction for her child but who in our civilization's latter-day degeneracy could only conceive of the exceptional in terms of deficiency or affliction.

1

When you've been afraid of something for long enough and it comes to pass, the terrible thing is a release. For in the belly of the badness there is no more fear.

1

We are not attracted to people because they are virtuous.

In fact, there's something a little creepy about people who are too good. There is a big draw to people who are successful at breaking the rules. That means we end up admiring a lot of people that we think we shouldn't.

1

However gnawing a deficiency, satiety is worse... We are meant to be hungry.

0

Not that happiness is dull. Only that it doesn't tell well. And of our consuming diversions as we age is to recite, not only to others but to ourselves, our own story.

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It's an apathy so absolute that it's like a hole you might fall in.

0

The discovery that heartbreak is indeed heartbreaking consoles us about our humanity.

0

Half an ear cocked, something in me, all night, every night, is waiting for you to come home.

0

In fact, it's become politically important to offend people, because we have to fight back against this notion that being offensive should be against the law or something, and that everyone supposedly deserves "respect" for their often dopy views.

0

Notoriety is cheap. It's just easier to get noticed by doing something bad.

0

I never, ever took you for granted. We met too late for that; I was nearly thirty-three by then, and my past without you was too stark and insistent for me to find the miracle of companionship ordinary.

0

Size is relative. If everyone is fat, no-one is fat

0

Expectations are dangerous when they are both too high and unformed.

0

It is never persuasive to argue that you are not the kind of person who does what you are actually doing.

0

In the big picture I write for an audience of people I've never met.

By the final draft I'm looking for anything in the prose that's prospectively boring to strangers.

0

Yet if there's no reason to live without a child, how could there be with one? To answer one life with a successive life is simply to transfer the onus of purpose to the next generation; the displacements amounts to a cowardly and potentially infinite delay. Your children's answer, presumably, will be to procreate as well, and in doing so to distract themselves, to foist their own aimlessness onto their offspring.

0

[Children] would have messed up my apartment.

In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned too much time away from the writing of my precious books.

0

Lovers communicate not inside sentences, but between them.

Passion lurks within interstice. It is grouting rather than bricks.

0

I was mortified by the prospect of becoming hopelessly trapped in someone else's story.

0

Whoa, that's the kind of little sister I can dig!" said Edison.

"Yes, we're all alike," I said. "We cover for you, we lie for you, we take the heat for you. We clean up your messes and mollify our parents for you. We never fail to come across with undying adoration, whether or not you deserve it, and we can't take our lives as seriously as yours. We snuffle up the crumbs from your table on the rare occasions you notice we're alive.

0

A boy is a dangerous animal.

0

One of my problems with terrorism is that it's self-evidently bad.

The main thing that makes it complicated is the fact that it works. When you go at it with a moral hammer, it's really, really bad. It's so bad you wouldn't believe it because you don't accomplish anything. I think the one thing terrorists themselves are vulnerable to is mockery. It's an excellent weapon.

0

Funny how the nature of a normal day is the first memory to fade.

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People seem to get used to anything, and it is a short step from adaptation to attachment.

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Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.

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You can't be stylish and petty at the same time.

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Secrets bind and separate in strict accordance with who's in them .

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I am in flight from my story every day, and it dogs me like a faithful stray.

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It isn't very nice to admit, but domestic violence has its uses.

So raw and unleashed, it tears away the veil of civilization that comes between us as much as it makes life possible. A poor substitute for the sort of passion we like to extol perhaps, but real love shares more in common with hatred and rage than it does with geniality or politeness.

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How lucky we are, when we're spared what we think we want!

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It's far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.

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