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Susan Cheever

  • A wedding isn't for the bride and groom, it's for the family and friends. The B. and G. are just props, silly stick figures with no more significance than the pink and white candy figures on the top of the cake.

  • There is no such thing as expecting too much.

  • Guilt is petty; I am above guilt.

  • Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.

  • When Tolstoy wrote that all happy families are alike, what he meant was that there are no happy families.

    • Susan Cheever,
    • Treetops ()
  • Dogs are great teachers. They are at home in the world. They live in the moment, and they force us to stay there with them. Dogs love us unconditionally, not for our bodies or bank accounts.

    • Susan Cheever,
    • in The New York Times Book Review ()
  • When women are angry at men, they call them heartless. When men are angry at women, they call them crazy.

    • Susan Cheever,
    • in The New York Times Book Review ()
  • Telling our story seems to be one of the basic human instincts, almost as strong as the instinct to stay alive or care for our children. Even when it is clearly not in their interest to do so, people can rarely resist an opportunity to tell the story of their own lives.

  • The actual American childhood is less Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney than Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

  • ... the rules were changing. We were all soon to be marooned on a kind of moral polar ice pack that was shifting and breaking apart even as we walked across it.

  • Pregnancy is difficult for women but it is even more difficult for men.

  • There is no other closeness in human life like the closeness between a mother and her baby — chronologically, physically, and spiritually they are just a few heartbeats away from being the same person.

  • The birth of a child is in many ways the end of a marriage — marriage including a child has to be reinvented, and reinvented at a time when both husband and wife are under unprecedented stress and the wife is exhausted, physically drained, and emotionally in shock. A man's conflict between wanting his child to have a mother and wanting to have the mother to himself is potentially intolerable.

  • ... Linda began to feel even more sharply that she was going insane. She wondered if she had already had a nervous breakdown and just didn't have time to notice it.

  • Love is a great wrecker of peace of mind.

  • The rich are different from you and me — they are a lot more fun to read about.

    • Susan Cheever,
    • in Newsweek ()

Susan Cheever, U.S. writer

(1943)