Alix Kates Shulman Quotes

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All quotes by Alix Kates Shulman: Feelings more...
  • Within walking distance of any spot on Earth there's probably more than enough mystery to investigate in a lifetime.

    Life   Distance   Earth  
    Alix Kates Shulman (2004). “Drinking the Rain: A Memoir”, p.223, Macmillan
  • The world is abundant with food for us, and with everything we need, if only we just open our eyes. There's so much food that gets thrown out or never harvested.

    Eye   Needs   World  
  • I see old age not as something to hide from or dread (though there is much to oppose in the usual treatment of the old) but rather as something to embrace as the natural and inevitable end.

    Age   Usual   Natural  
  • I am a feminist. I'm trying to show the relationships between men and women, always the structural relations, not individual villains. I'd never make a husband a villain. I try very hard in my work not to - because if I made one man a villain, the rest would be off the hook. I'm interested in the system of oppression.

    Husband   Men   Feminist  
  • I think you get mentally ill being homeless. Most of the bag ladies wind up mentally ill pretty quickly - what people would call paranoid - because they are in such danger. I don't know if it's really paranoia because they are in great danger. Terrible things happen to them, and they lose everything. How could they not become at the very least severely depressed?

    Thinking   Wind   People  
  • Usually, ordinary histories don't get the emotional feel of a period. That's what a novel can do.

  • When I became a feminist, when the movement started in the late sixties, I started writing because I had something urgent to say. My first novel, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, is the product of that urgency.

  • In my books, my idea is always to explore social context and social forces.

    Book   Ideas   Social  
  • As I experienced life on the island, without electricity, plumbing or telephone, I thought it was important to show that people can live as I did without dying or falling apart. I wanted people to understand that we don't need everything that our culture tells us we have to have to be satisfied.

    Fall   Islands   People  
  • My mirror image always had to be interpreted. And for that I sought my reflection in someone else's eyes.

  • Sexism goes so deep that at first it's hard to see; you think it's just reality.

    Alix Kates Shulman (1978). “Burning questions: a novel”, Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Being alone for a woman is probably much more scary than for a man. I'm all for getting over our fears by facing them head-on.

    Men   Scary  
  • For many decades my relations with my parents constituted unfinished business. I had dealt with them through sheer avoidance and guilt.

  • I don't really think myself that sex work is necessarily more demeaning than other kinds of demeaning work.

    Sex   Thinking   Kind  
  • One important part of historical recording is to get people of another generation to understand the feelings, the passion that went into social transformation. That's why oral history is so valuable.

  • It's always difficult to write honestly of one's deepest feelings, particularly without the protective veil of fiction. But the more difficult, the more rewarding if one succeeds. Rewarding not only to the work but to one's peace of mind.

    Writing   Feelings   Mind  
  • There is a lot of gender segregation. You still have many poor women who work in women-only jobs. In the family, in most cases, only women have the double job of working outside the home and taking care of the family.

    Jobs   Home   Work Out  
  • Our society has very much limited our choices, even regarding the food we think acceptable.

  • For two years I watched my parents' lives wind to a close. This made me aware of old age as a one stage, the final one, of a long journey.

    Journey   Years   Wind  
  • Solitude offers a lot that being coupled or being in a group does not. It helps us learn what we are capable of.

    Solitude   Groups   Doe  
  • People often say to me now, "Your work changed my life." I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but they say it had a big effect on them and enabled them to change. I'm not sure I believe that a book will cause someone to change.

    Believe   Book   People  
  • Fiction is ideally suited to re-creating the important emotional aspects of history.

  • When you witness the end of a life up close day by day, you begin to understand time and mortality in profound ways. You see time's relativity, death's necessity.

  • Everything is connected. There is no such thing as an island, especially in our world, global village, the whole thing. Pollution from way across the ocean circulates in the air.

  • When farming became a corporate venture, and the distribution of food became corporate, the variety of foods that were considered good diminished greatly. I know that there's a lot of misconception about this, that people think we have more food variety than ever before, but, in fact, if you read any of the studies, you'll find we have fewer foods than before.

  • I am not a psychological novelist, and I try very hard not to allow the reader to see the plight or circumstances of the characters as individual psychological plights. That's my preference; still, a lot of people do read my novels as psychological studies, and they're right to read them that way too, if that's what they mean to them.

    Character   Mean   People  
  • The movement for women's liberation was about an emotional transformation, an explosion, a feeling all over the country that things must be different, and ideas about how they should be. I think fiction can capture that kind of thing better than other genres because in fiction you can explore the feelings of your characters - the before and the after.

  • Ever since Freud, being alone has been considered something of a psychological failure. The point, according to Freudian theory, is to be able to love and connect. But I don't believe that at all. I think that being alone and being coupled and being in a group are all natural states in which people can thrive.

  • I did not intend to be a writer. I first wanted to be a lawyer, like my father. Then I got bit by the bug of philosophy and wanted to be a philosophy professor. I went to graduate school and quickly discovered it was impossible for a woman in those days - this was the early fifties - to be a philosopher, so I gave that up.

  • Many people spend the ends of their lives alone, and probably a lot of years in the middle of their lives, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience the rewards of solitude.

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    Alix Kates Shulman quotes about: Feelings