“but he had taken the work too personally and had had too many run-ins with editors. “Don’t fuck with my prose,” he’d been known to say in a loud voice.”

“I said, something wonderful. Say something about springtime.” “It is sloppy and wet. It is a beast from the sea.”

“She knew there were only small joys in life—the big ones were too complicated to be joys when you got all through—and once you realized that, it took a lot of the pressure off.”

““You only live at once.” Which seemed to her all the more reason to be careful, to take it easy, to have an ordinary life. She didn’t like to do things where the trick was to not die.”

““Thanks,” said John, and he looked at his watch like a man with plans.”

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