“What does it feel like to have a girl?” said the man, chewing. Her father wiped his mouth with his napkin, tilted his head to one side and said smiling: “Sometimes it feels like I have a warm egg in my hand. Sometimes, nothing: total memory loss…Occasionally it feels like I have a girl of my own, really mine.”

– Clarice Lispector, Near to the Wild Heart

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‘Baldwin’s career as a novelist was spent walking over old territory with ghosts. Things became new to him this way. ‘Mountain is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else,’ he said years later. ‘I had to deal with what hurt me most. I had to deal with my father.’

– Andrew O’Hagan, Introduction to Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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