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The Madwoman Upstairs

Catherine Lowell

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Are there any leading men in your life?" "Several, but they're all fictional.”

“More than anything, I began to hate women writers. Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Browning, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf. Bronte, Bronte, and Bronte. I began to resent Emily, Anne, and Charlotte—my old friends—with a terrifying passion. They were not only talented; they were brave, a trait I admired more than anything but couldn't seem to possess. The world that raised these women hadn't allowed them to write, yet they had spun fiery novels in spite of all the odds. Meanwhile, I was failing with all the odds tipped in my favor. Here I was, living out Virginia Woolf's wildest feminist fantasy. I was in a room of my own. The world was no longer saying, "Write? What's the good of your writing?" but was instead saying "Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me.”

“It was the sort of library you'd marry a man for.”

“The great reward given to intelligent people is that they can invent all the rules and equate any dissent with stupidity.”

“I realized that my life of late had consisted of far too much dialogue and not enough exposition. I imagined an angry, bespectacled English teacher slashing his pen through the transcript of my life, wondering how someone could possibly say so much and think so little.”

“A new adaptation of Jane Eyre came out every year, and every year it was exactly the same. An unknown actress would play Jane, and she was usually prettier than she should have been. A very handsome, very brooding, very 'ooh-la-la' man would play Rochester, and Judi Dench would play everyone else.”

“The curtains were blood-red and drawn. This was not an office. It was a small library, two storeys high, with thin ladders and impractical balconies and an expansive ceiling featuring a gaggle of naked Greeks. It was the sort of library you'd marry a man for.”

“I call that creativity," Orville said. "The purpose of literature is to teach you how to THINK, not how to be practical. Learning to discover the connective tissue between seemingly unrelated events is the only way we are equipped to understand patterns in the real world.”

“Isn't there some truth in all fiction?" "There's some fiction in all truth too.”

“[T]o tell a good story, you need courage. Courage to fully become someone else, even if -- and especially if -- that person was a more vulnerable version of yourself.”

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Book Keywords:

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