A very special thanks to the writers who changed this writer's world.


JUNOT DÍAZ

"But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in." ― The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao


DENIS JOHNSON

“Maybe, when you hear the name 'Beverly,' you think of Beverly Hills―people wandering the streets with their heads shot off by money.” ― Jesus' Son 


JOAN DIDION

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." ― The Year of Magical Thinking 


YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

"The cry I bring down from the hills / belongs to a girl still burning / inside my head. At daybreak / she burns like a piece of paper." ― Neon Vernacular


JOHN FANTE

"But she was very good, my Harriet, she had stuck it out with me for twenty-five years and given me three sons and a daughter, any one of whom, or indeed all four, I would have gladly exchanged for a new Porsche, or even an MGGT '70." ― West of Rome 


PHIL KLAY

"[Prayer] will not protect you. It will help your soul. It's for while you're alive." ―Redeployment


JOSÉ SARAMAGO

"The others gave a wan smile and one said, It wouldn't be so bad if it's true that when the horse dies, it doesn't know it's going to die." ―Blindness


MICHAEL HERR

"'Boy, you got offered some shitty choices,' a Marine once said to me, and I couldn't help but feel that what he really meant was that you didn't get offered any at all." ―Dispatches


JIM SHEPARD 

"Here's the story of my life: whatever I did wasn't good enough, anything I figured out I figured out too late, and whenever I tried to help I made things worse." ―Boys Town 


VLADIMIR NABOKOV

"Here was Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, and cancerous growths until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about." ― Symbols and Signs 


NUALA O'FAOLAIN

"They throw sugar on the fire, to get it to light, and wipe surfaces with an old rag that smells, and they are forever sending children to the shops. They question me, half censorious, half wistful: 'And did you never want to get married yourself?'" ―Are You Somebody? 


ROBERT HASS

"We asked the captain what course of action he proposed to take toward a beast so large, terrifying, and unpredictable. He hesitated to answer and then said judiciously: 'I think I shall praise it.'" ―Praise