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Rita Mae Brown

"An army of lovers shall not fail."

Rita Mae Brown, "Sappho's Reply," The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1971)

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"To love without role, without power plays, is revolution."

Rita Mae Brown, "Say It Isn't So," in The Ladder (1971)

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"The dead are the only people to have permanent dwellings."

Rita Mae Brown, "For Those of Us Working for a New World," Songs to a Handsome Woman (1973)

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"Once you know what women are like, men get kind of boring. I'm not trying to put them down, I mean I like them sometimes as people, but sexually they're dull."

Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle (1973)

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"Gossip is irresponsible communication."

Rita Mae Brown, A Plain Brown Rapper (1976)

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"In art as in politics we must deal with people as they are not as we wish them to be. Only by working with the real can you get closer to the ideal."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Trouble is said to be good for an artist's soul but almost never is."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Today we live in a society suffering from ethical rickets."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Consider the 'new' woman. She's trying to be Pollyanna Borgia, clearly a conflict of interest. She's supposed to be a ruthless winner at work and a bundle of nurturing sweetness at home. It remains for each woman to find her place and each man his in this cultural chaos of mixed signals."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"I no longer idolize reason. I have come to accept that ninety percent of what we do is irrational and that we spend what little rational thought we have in justifying our irrationality. "

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"I know that after all is said and done, more is said than done."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"I'm beginning to feel that the real endangered species on planet earth are not the whales and the elephants but those of us who can laugh at the world and ourselves. ... I fear the dry turn of the American mind, this focus on the literal, as much as I fear our capacity for self-destruction. We've become hagridden by facts, obsessed with product instead of process. Where's the energetic wit, the looney outlook, the frivolity, the lightness of comforting laughter? It has become fashionable to know and unfashionable to feel, and you can't really laugh if you can't feel."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Mothers have a habit of proving right except you don't find that out until you're the age your mother was when she gave you the advice."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Possession of a secret is no guarantee of its truth."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Familiarity breeds consent."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"She says the same thing over and over again thinking repetition will substitute for proof."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Love is the wild card of existence."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Guilt is a Jewish invention improved upon by Christians for the last two thousand years."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"... the reason for revolution is so the good things in life circulate."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Anyway, in America the word revolutionary is used to sell pantyhose."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"There are more differences between poor people than between middle-class people."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Adjectives are the curse of America."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"There's a thin line between collectivity and chaos..."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"... Yankees, once they hear a drawl, no longer take seriously anything the person says."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"Pain isn't always the enemy."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"It's a big jump from smart to motherwit."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"She thought of art the way she thought of tennis. It was for the white and the rich. Worse than tennis it was almost all men."

Rita Mae Brown, In Her Day (1976)

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"A woman who will tell her age will tell anything."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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"We all want to leave our children the Garden of Eden and we wind up giving them hardscrabble."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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"England is an aquarium, not a nation."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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" Armies are dependent on youthful male ignorance."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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"She calls a spade a delving instrument."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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"Intuition is a suspension of logic due to impatience."

Rita Mae Brown, Southern Discomfort (1982)

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"If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle."

Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (1983)

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"A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one."

Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (1983)

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"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."

Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (1983)

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"Sport strips away personality, letting the white bone of character shine through. Sport gives players an opportunity to know and test themselves. The great difference between sport and art is that sport, like a sonnet, forces beauty within its own system. Art, on the other hand, cyclically destroys boundaries and breaks free."

Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (1983)

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"Divorce is the one human tragedy that reduces everything to cash."

Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (1983)

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"You sell a screenplay like you sell a car. If somebody drives it off a cliff, that's it."

Rita Mae Brown, in Newsweek (1985)

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"Novels, like human beings, usually have their beginnings in the dark."

Rita Mae Brown, High Hearts (1986)

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"Memory is the true function of age."

Rita Mae Brown, High Hearts (1986)

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"It's still easier to take a blow from outside than it is to be disgusted with myself for not taking a stand. I don't know how people can live and not fight back but apparently millions do. They must hate themselves."

Rita Mae Brown, Poems (1987)

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"We have the ability to be the Athens of modern times as opposed to the militaristic Sparta. I remind you that the Athenians wrote poetry. The Spartans did not."

Rita Mae Brown, Poems (1987)

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"All decisions are based on insufficient evidence."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"Dad could charm a dog off a meat wagon."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"... sex has never been private and it never will be. We perform the act in private but we must be public about the connection. Sex is how we pass down worldly goods. It's how we create the primary unit of our society, the couple. ... This rule applies to gay people as well as straight people. ... The community absolutely must know who is straight, who is gay, who is married, and who is single. Without that information we make painful mistakes and lose time."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"... piety is like garlic: a little goes a long way."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"I used to think romantic love was a neurosis shared by two, a supreme foolishness. I no longer thought that. There's nothing foolish in loving anyone. Thinking you'll be loved in return is what's foolish."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"I don't want to die. I think death is a greatly overrated experience."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"The only good thing ever done by a committee was the King James version."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"The difference between genius and stupidity is that even genius has its limits."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"People who care for you inevitably become beautiful."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"So often the truth is told with hate, and lies are told with love."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"... nostalgia, that residue of pleasure."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"Where there is no faith, devils are a necessity. "

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"[A pariah is] something like a martyr with more suffering and less class."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"The owner of Mojo's was a suicide blonde, dyed by her own hand."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"... whoever said progress was a positive thing has never been to Florida or California."

Rita Mae Brown, Bingo (1988)

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"A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Art is moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"It's an act of faith to be a writer in a postliterate world."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Content without style is propaganda or adolescence. Style without content is decadence."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I believe all literature started as gossip."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I believe in art that conceals art."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I believe that we often disguise pain through ritual and it may be the only solace we have."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I believe in a lively disrespect for most forms of authority."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I believe every change any word has undergone probably originated in ignorance."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I think of birth as the search for a larger apartment."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Seriousness is the refuge of the shallow. There are events and personal experiences that call forth seriousness but they are fewer than most of us think."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Humor comes from self-confidence. There's an aggressive element to wit."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"The process of writing, any form of creativity, is a power intensifying life."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"For you to be successful, sacrifices must be made. It's better that they are made by others but failing that, you'll have to make them yourself."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Show me a writer, any writer, who hasn't suffered and I'll show you someone who writes in pastels as opposed to primary colors."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Alcohol is an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"The only merciful thing about drug abuse is the speed with which it devastates you. Alcoholics can take decades to destroy themselves and everyone they touch. The drug addict can accomplish this in a year or two. Of course, suicide is even more efficient."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Monogamy is contrary to nature but necessary for the greater social good."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Recognition of function always precedes recognition of being."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Education is a wonderful thing. If you couldn't sign your name you'd have to pay cash."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"You can't be truly rude until you understand good manners."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides. "

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"The human animal varies from class to class, culture to culture. In one way we are consistent: We are irrational."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"English is weak in describing emotional states or intensities of interpersonal relationships."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Language is decanted and shared. If only one person is left alive speaking a language -- the case with some American Indian languages -- the language is dead. Language takes two and their multiples."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Writers are the moral purifiers of the culture. We may not be pure ourselves but we must tell the truth, which is a purifying act."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Don't ask to live in tranquil times. Literature doesn't grow there."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"Money and writing appear to be mutually exclusive."

Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch (1988)

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"If Michaelangelo were a heterosexual, the Sistine Chapel would have been painted basic white and with a roller."

Rita Mae Brown, in The New York Times (1988)

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"Martina was so far in the closet she was in danger of being a garment bag."

Rita Mae Brown, in Newsweek (1993)

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"... I have always been suspicious of romantic love. It looks too much like a narcissism shared by two ..."

Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy (1993)

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"Dying's not so bad. At least I won't have to answer the telephone."

Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy (1993)

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"I became a lesbian out of devout Christian charity. All those women out there are praying for a man and I gave them my share."

Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy (1993)

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"Why marry a woman if you're going to betray her, and if you're going to betray her, why beat her? The fault is not hers ... I sometimes think the worst we do, we do behind closed doors."

Rita Mae Brown, Dolley (1994)

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"Life is unjust, people can be cruel, and yet if you harden your heart, you will lose what little love there is in this world."

Rita Mae Brown, Dolley (1994)

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"Pornography exists for the lonesome, the ugly, the fearful. ... it's made for the losers."

Rita Mae Brown, in Ms. (1994)

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"... many lesbians were so far in the closet they were in danger of being mistaken for garment bags."

Rita Mae Brown, in Ms. (1995)

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"If you can't raise consciousness, at least raise hell."

Rita Mae Brown, in David Blanton, Queer Notions (1996)

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"Mother believed in enjoying herself. Aunt Mimi believed in enjoying herself, then feeling guilty about it."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Aunt Mimi possessed a horror of silence, which she battled with endless chat. The Typhoid Mary of the Telephone started her calls at 6:30 each morning."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"What happens to children and families today who sit around the television? They're watching made-up stories. It's not their experience and it's not truly shared. A human being must learn at a very young age how to connect to other human beings. Our technologies are driving us apart, only connecting us in terms of information, not in terms of emotions."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Some people live life and others talk about it."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Oppression works in such a way that it holds every person responsible for the acts of any wrongdoer of the oppressed group."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"The only people who are queer are the people who don't love anybody."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"... friendship is love made bearable."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Love is an act of faith."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Golf is an expensive way to make yourself miserable."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"In America sex is an obsession. In Europe it's a fact of life. "

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Femininity and masculinity are social constructs. Female and male are biological. We don't have to learn to be men or women but we do have to learn to be ladies and gentlemen."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Whenever I doubt the existence of God or the Goddess, I look at horses. Only God could have made a horse."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"... compromise is the work of mature people."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"It really doesn't take brains to be a politician as much as it takes stomach. Both would be nice, but in America we have accepted diminishing returns in this arena."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Tragedy massages the human ego even as comedy deflates it. ... Tragedy pits us against large foes and the trip wire is our own character. ... In comedy we fall afoul of one another. Comedy depends on social life, on our behavior in groups. In tragedy you can observe one human against the gods. In comedy it's one human versus other humans and often one man (or woman if I'm writing it) against her own worst impulses."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"You're nothing in America if you don't have debt."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Tennis is physical chess."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Book tours are like boot camp but with little sleep and less food."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Death is a greatly overrated experience. I hated Mother's and I'm not looking forward to my own. Apart from the sorrow there are the bills to be paid. Nobody dies for free."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Youth moves out, leaving no forwarding address. No matter how you try, you can't reach that person again or that place. "

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"When Mother died I was both freed and abandoned, as are we all at this profound juncture in our lives."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"... all outcast peoples struggle to be recognized as individuals. The damage of oppression is that it robs you of your individuality. You're just a faggot. Or whatever -- fill in the blank. Everything you do is seen through the prism of your gayness or your womanness or your blackness by some people. "

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"I think in the years to come what Reagan will be remembered for is that he had the chance to stop the plague and he chose not to because the 'right people' were dying. "

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"So much of life is happenstance. It makes me laugh when I go to a bookstore and see all those titles about controlling your life. You're lucky if you can control your bladder."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"Stars bitch and moan. Actors act."

Rita Mae Brown, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser (1997)

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"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're OK, then it's you. "

Rita Mae Brown, in Susan Musgrave, Musgrave Landing: Musing on the Writing Life (1994)

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"Divorce: fission after fusion."

Rita Mae Brown

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"Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

Rita Mae Brown

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"When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began."

Rita Mae Brown

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"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it. "

Rita Mae Brown

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"I don't think there is a 'gay lifestyle.' I think that's superficial crap, all that talk about gay culture. A couple of restaurants on Castro Street and a couple of magazines do not constitute culture. Michelangelo is culture. Virginia Woolf is culture. So let's don't confuse our terms. Wearing earrings is not culture ... "

Rita Mae Brown

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"A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction."

Rita Mae Brown

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"Computer dating is fine, if you're a computer."

Rita Mae Brown

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Rita Mae Brown, U.S. writer, poet
(1944 - )