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Helen Hudson

  • Marriage, to him, was an institution for producing children and eliminating small talk.

  • He was a short man, well below average, and he walked with his chin up, gazing about as though searching for his missing inches.

  • He had felt like a man rushing to catch a train he was anxious to miss.

  • He had, he told himself, better things to do than eat fish on Friday with Pike and his wife, a pale flat woman with a face like a fillet of flounder.

  • He was small and thin and resigned and had gone completely bald very young as though to get that over with as soon as possible.

  • Into the kitchen please. No arguments. Eat first, suffer later. The motto of our race.

  • He hated himself for being bald and middle-aged in a culture that was all youth and hair.

  • ... they tended to regard his manuscripts as coupons to be redeemed for cash at will.

  • Ethel's husband stayed in his office or walked through the halls carrying his little black bag like a small sample cut from the shadow of death.

  • She had large, brown eyes like mushroom caps ...

  • ... some shrugged their shoulders as if to shake off whatever chips of responsibility might have lodged there.

  • Her dull mushroom eyes seemed to have grown smaller, as though they had been sautéed too long.

  • She crossed borders recklessly, refusing to recognize limits, saying 'bonjour and 'buon giorno' as though she owned both France and Italy and the day itself. ... she was free to grasp it all: to bite into fruit that had ripened on other people's trees; to warm herself in the sun they had hung out and rip, with her headlights, their darkness.

  • ... she could imagine his expression ... anxiety and annoyance chasing each other like the hands of a clock around his wide, flat face.

  • ... shoes sticking out like tongues beneath the long black robe.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • title story, The Listener and Other Stories ()
  • For me it's always midnight with the phone out of order and a murderer on the fire escape. What I suffer from nerves could be a technicolor spectacle.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "The Strange Testament of Michael Cassidy," The Listener ()
  • But nerves! Be glad you have a nice little cirrhosis, Mrs. Munniman. Not like me with a husband silent as a stuffed sausage. I could drop dead asking him how many lumps in his tea.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "The Strange Testament of Michael Cassidy," The Listener ()
  • My God, how fatuous they were, Father Cheney thought, and their indulgent father with the face like a buttered scone, dripping complacency, and their stubbornly blond mother who would price everything in the gift shop after dinner.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "After Cortés," The Listener ()
  • They treated their God like a desk clerk with whom they lodged requests and complaints.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "After Cortés," The Listener ()
  • His heart was behaving in that strange way again, like a madly bouncing ball, beating the breath out of his body.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "An Appointment With Armstrong," The Listener ()
  • Americans, MacIver thought. They turned out volumes by the dozens like doughnuts, big and soft and empty at the core.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "An Appointment With Armstrong," The Listener ()

Helen Hudson, U.S. writer

Real name: Helen Lane.