‘This was the affair which had ended quietly and decently, without fuss or scenes or hysteria. When you were nineteen, and it was the first time you had been let down, you did not make scenes. You felt as if your back was broken, as if you would never move again. But you did not make a scene. That started later on, when the same thing had happened five or six times over, and you were supposed to be getting used to it.’

– Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie

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‘Paris seemed, and had seemed the loneliest city under heaven. And whoever prolongs his sojourn in that city – who tries, that is, to make a home there – is doomed to discover that there is no one to be blamed for whatever happens to him.’

– James Baldwin, Another Country

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‘Fiction needs its specifics, it’s anchors. It needs also to pass beyond them. It needs to be weighed down with characters we can touch and know, it needs to fly right through them into larger, universal space. This paradox makes work readable and durable, from its impossible tension, something harmonious is born.’

– Jeanette Winterson, Introduction to Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

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