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Ancestor Stones

Aminatta Forna

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I learned about women -- how we are made into the women we've become, how we shape ourselves, how we shape each other.”

“A dread filled me, a dread unlike any I had ever felt. Not the terror of God, or his angels, but the sickly fear of man.”

“They were all signs and there would be more, surfacing one by one, floating in front of me like flotsam from a shipwreck. Even when I was drowning I dismissed them all, first with foolishness, then with pride, and finally because I had put out my own eyes with hot pokers of shame.”

“Something happened here. A change. Stealthy, creeping, slow. Like the way the desert is gradually covering the plain, one grain of sand at a time. It took place without us even noticing, so that the moment when we might have resisted passed unremarked.”

“So, where does it come from, the fury? A thousand indignities, a thousand wrongs, like tiny knife wounds, shredding a person’s humanity. In time only the tattered remnants are left. And in the end they ask themselves — what good is this to me? And they throw the last of it away.”

“I learned what it was like to lose yourself. To feel the fragments flying off you. As if your soul has unhitched itself from your body and is flying away on a piece of string like a balloon. Lost in the clouds. You think, I only have to catch the end of the string. But though it hovers within sight, you cannot grasp it. You try and try. And then there comes a time when you are too tired. You no longer care. So you say: Let it go. Let me just fall down here on the soft grass and go to sleep.”

“I knew when not to speak, when not to let myself be heard. Silence was my friend, my twin, the other half of me. Silence was my weapon. Not a blustering gun, but an invisible spider’s web.”

“I had spent my whole life trying not to be like my mother. I had taken the opposite path and hurried along it, all the time looking over my shoulder instead of ahead, so that I failed to see how the path curved back again in the same direction.”

“But what is a legend if not a story so great it has survived the retelling of countless generations?”

“[T]hose most precious memories are hidden in the safest place of all. Safe from fire or floods or war. In stories. Stories remembered, until they are ready to be told. Or perhaps simply ready to be heard.”

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Book Keywords:

humanity, change, self, memories, women, storytelling, silence, soul, storytellers, pride, shame, mankind, fear, dignity, life-changes, anger, legend

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