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Jean Stafford

  • Whiskey and music, I reflected, especially when taken together, made time fly incredibly fast.

  • Indeed, the sole criticism of him was that he prolonged beyond the point of decency, his look of nuptial rapture and the vagueness which rendered him, in conversation, slightly stupid.

  • Alcohol flings back, almost illimitably, the boundaries of humor so that we can find uproarious things which our poor sober friends miss altogether. It is necessary, if the joke is really good and really should be shared, to repeat it time and again until finally it penetrates those solemn skulls.

  • ... a small silence came between us, as precise as a picture hanging on the wall.

  • You'll never get to be an old lady if you don't take care of yourself.

  • If there is whistling in the great beyond, I'll kill myself.

  • That grin! She could have taken it off her face and put it on the table.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • title story, Bad Characters ()
  • There were two objects of conversation; one was the food they were eating and the other was the food they had eaten at other times.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Maggie Meriwether's Rich Experience," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • ... falling in love is not an abrupt plunge; it is a gradual descent, seldom in a straight line, rather like the floating downward of a parachute. And the expression is imperfect because while one may fall one also levitates.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Caveat Emptor," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • ... she was not sure whether she had had a dream just now or whether there was something she had meant to remember or to think about that was troubling her aged mind like a rat in a wall.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "The Hope Chest," The Collected Storie of Jean Stafford ()
  • ... Eva gurgled like a stomach.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Polite Conversation," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • Generations should not be mingled for daily fare, she thought; they are really contemptuous of one another, and the strong individuals, whether they belong to the older or the younger, impose on the meek their creeds and opinions, and, if they are strong enough, brook no dissent.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "The Liberation," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • Nothing can more totally subdue the passions than familial piety.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "The Liberation," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • ... she did observe, with some dismay, that, far from conquering all, love lazily sidestepped practical problems ...

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "The Liberation," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • Mrs. Fowler hated men so passionately that no one could dream why she married so many of them.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Beatrice Trueblood's Story," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()

Jean Stafford, U.S. writer

(1915 - 1979)

Full name: Jean Stafford Lowell Jensen Liebling.