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“My mother is the source of my unease in the world and thus the only person who can make me feel at home in the world.”
“I know her face by heart. Sometimes I think nothing will break her spell.”
“There's something stubborn about families, unhappy ones in particular: they outlive themselves, and then they live on.”
“Everyone lies about sex, more or less, to themselves if not to others, to others if not to themselves, exaggerating its importance or minimizing its pull.”
“No bill of sexual rights can hold its own against the lawless, untamable landscape of the erotic imagination.”
“It was through reading that I discovered the crucial, even sacrosanct place the rituals of drinking held in the American imagination — the ingenious way alcohol seemed to lubricate everything from onerous chitchat to self-conscious sexual advances.”
Daphne Merkin, U.S. writer, literary critic
Full name: Daphne Miriam Merkin.