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Laurie Colwin

  • ... her eyes were so brown they appeared to have no pupils, giving her the smoldering look of a burning tire.

    • Laurie Colwin,
    • "Imelda," Passion and Affect ()
  • When Charlotte was around, he woke up as fast and clean as a freshly snapped twig. Now he crawled out of sleep, like a wounded fly climbing out of a sticky cup.

    • Laurie Colwin,
    • "The Elite Viewer," Passion and Affect ()
  • In her naturalism she made everything she cooked taste as if it had been boiled with apples and vitamin pills.

    • Laurie Colwin,
    • "The Elite Viewer," Passion and Affect
  • ... Holly conducted herself like a bird of paradise that had flown through the window of a house in Des Moines and settled down; she explained very little.

  • ... life was a battle. You had to fight and think. You had to hack your way through life with your intelligence as a machete cutting down what obstacles you could. You were born knowing nothing; you had to fight for what you knew.

  • I don't call it gossip ... I call it 'emotional speculation.'

  • Friendship is not possible between two women one of whom is very well dressed.

  • Woe to those who get what they desire. Fulfillment leaves an empty space where your old self used to be, the self that pines and broods and reflects. You furnish a dream house in your imagination, but how startling and final when that dream house is your own address. What is left to you? Surrounded by what you wanted, you feel a sense of amputation. The feelings you were used to abiding with are useless. The conditions you established for your happiness are met. That youthful light-headed feeling whose sharp side is much like hunger is of no more use to you.

    • Laurie Colwin,
    • "The Long Pilgrim," in Susan Cahill, ed., New Women & New Fiction ()
  • The sharing of food is the basis of social life, and to many people it is the only kind of social life worth participating in.

  • No one who cooks cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.

  • Dinner alone is one of life's pleasures.

  • It is always wise to make too much potato salad. Even if you are cooking for two, make enough for five. Potato salad improves with age — that is, if you are lucky enough to have any left over.

  • I will never eat fish eyeballs, and I do not want to taste anything commonly kept as a house pet, but otherwise I am a cinch to feed.

  • The best way to eat crabs, as everyone knows, is off newspaper at a large table with a large number of people.

  • It is a fact of life that people give dinner parties, and when they invite you, you have to turn around and invite them back. Often they retaliate by inviting you again, and you must then extend another invitation. Back and forth you go, like Ping-Pong balls, and what you end up with is called social life.

  • There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup from cans.

  • The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction.

  • [On television:] It's made people moronic, it's robbed people of their ability to think. It's done tremendous damage, and every single household that has a small child should take it and throw it out the window.

    • Laurie Colwin,
    • in Mickey Pearlman and Katherine Usher Henderson, A Voice of One's Own: Conversations With America's Writing Women ()
  • Dining alone is one of life's pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.

Laurie Colwin, U.S. writer

(1944 - 1992)