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Joanne Greenberg

  • I know uh secret code. I ain' crazy, I got uh 'motional disorder; I ain' got fits, I got uh convulsive disorder; an' I ain' ugly, I plain; an' I ain' black, I dusky; an' my children ain' bastards, they — they love-flowers!

  • Anybody can hear — it takes brains to listen.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • title story, Rites of Passage ()
  • What cook can match herself against hunger and memory?

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Children of Joy," Rites of Passage ()
  • We all carry a dream about Mama's chicken. If they set to music what we feel and remember of that chicken, Beethoven would be a forgotten article altogether.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Children of Joy," Rites of Passage ()
  • Those boys could hear a meat bone being dropped into soup half a mile away. If a man brushed a crumb from his beard, there was their knock on his door ...

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Children of Joy," Rites of Passage ()
  • ... this was one of the penalties of being a 'good' wife and mother. Her life was a mass of details, endless and entangled, all together, all unsorted: trivial things and important things wound into and against one another, all warring for her attention. Changing the goldfish water wasn't vital, but it couldn't wait; teaching the children their Bible was vital, but it could wait. Listening to them, growing with them, that was vital; but the bills had to be paid now, the dinner was burning right now ...

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Children of Joy," Rites of Passage ()
  • When he was waiting, he found he could never commit himself deeply to anything else. The fact of his waiting wouldn't let him go.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Timekeeper," Rites of Passage ()
  • ... we were then as we are now: modern American Jews, tangled in compromise, passing the past and the heritage hand to hand like a hot potato and wincing with pain between the toss and the catch.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Certain Distant Suns," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • Money in the hand is real — coins and bills. The rest I don't believe in, and I don't think I ever did, really. What's a check, after all, but a promise — mine, the bank's. Me, I know, but the bank?

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Certain Distant Suns," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • I have found this to be true, that one sin begets a dozen others.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Things in Their Season," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • The gift is that we are unfinished. The sixth day is not yet over for us.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "Things in Their Season," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • ... suicide is the ultimate 'one-up,' as it were, the accusation that brooks no defense, the argument won at last.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "They Live," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • ... suicide is a crime — the only crime that, if successful, guarantees that the perpetrator will not be punished for it. This makes it the most serious crime of all.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "They Live," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • Worrying is one of my few forms of prayer.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "The Jaws of the Dog," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • ... all children blackmail their parents with their innocence.

    • Joanne Greenberg,
    • "On Tiptoe They Must Leave, the Pious of Israel," High Crimes and Misdemeanors ()
  • What do you do with mother love and mother wit when the babies are grown and gone away?

Joanne Greenberg, U.S. writer

(1932)

Full name: Joanne Goldenberg Greenberg. She also wrote as Hannah Green (see quotations under that name).