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Ann Petry

  • Everything you ever had, everything you ever lost. It's all there in the trumpet — pain and hate and trouble and peace and quiet and love.

    • Ann Petry,
    • "Solo on the Drums," in '47 Magazine of the Year ()
  • The world was one of great contrasts, she thought, and if the richest part of it was to be fenced off so that people like herself could only look at it with no expectation of ever being able to get inside it, then it would be better to have been born blind so you couldn't see it, born deaf so you couldn't hear it, born with no sense of touch so you couldn't feel it. Better still, born with no brain so that you would be completely unaware of anything, so that you would never know there were places that were filled with sunlight and good food and where children were safe.

  • Folks differs, dearie. They differs a lot. Some can stand things that others can't. There's never no way of knowin' how much they can stand.

  • ... a man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined.

  • Black was bestlooking. ... Ebony was the best wood, the hardest wood; it was black. Virginia ham was the best ham. It was black on the outside. Tuxedos and tail coats were black and they were a man's finest, most expensive clothes. You had to use pepper to make most meats and vegetables fit to eat. The most flavorsome pepper was black. The best caviar was black. The rarest jewels were black: black opals, black pearls.

  • ... all truly great art is propaganda ...

    • Ann Petry,
    • in Helen Hull, ed., The Writer's Book ()
  • All life goes in a circle, around and around, you started at one place, and then came right back to it again.

Ann Petry, U.S. writer, journalist, literary critic

(1908 - 1997)

Full name: Ann Lane Petry.