The object of war is to survive it.
It´s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can't interfere with people you love any more than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know. And that's hard, ..., because you often feel like interfering -you want to be the one who makes the plans.
If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
My life is a reading list.
It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.
It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.
You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.
In this dirty minded world, you are either someone's wife or someone's whore. And if you're not either people think there is something wrong with you....but there is nothing wrong with me
In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases
O God — please give him back! I shall keep asking You.
Don't forget this, too: Rumors aren't interested in the unsensational story; rumors don't care what's true.
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
When (The World According To) Garp was published, people who’d lost children wrote to me. ‘’I lost one, too,’’ they told me. I confessed to them that I hadn’t lost any children. I’m just a father with a good imagination. In my imagination, I lose my children every day. (afterword)
Everyone has a right to be a little happy, asshole.
A truly happy woman drives some men and almost every other woman absolutely crazy
A person's faith goes at its own pace. The trouble with church is the service. A service is conducted for a mass audience. Just when I start to like the hymn, everyone plops down to pray. Just when I start to hear the prayer, everyone pops up to sing. And what does the stupid sermon have to do with God? Who knows what God thinks of current events? Who cares?
You can't learn everything you need to know legally.
The time to read Madame Bovary is when your romantic hopes and desires have crashed, and you will believe that your future relationships will have disappointing - even devastating - consequences.
In a school community, someone who reads a book for some secretive purpose, other than discussing it, is strange. What was she reading for?
'Great Expectations' was an important novel in my adolescence. It was very much one of those emblematic novels that made me wish I could write like that. It helped that my models as a writer were dead over a hundred years before I began to write.