Top 29 Helen Oyeyemi Quotes

He honestly expected her to believe that she could make a bad offering and her ancestors wouldn’t mind.


Other things my best friend said to me: That two years was but a short span.


With boys there was a fundamental assumption that they had a right to be there — not always, but more often than not. With girls, ‘Why her?’ came up so quickly.


She had to quickly pop back to the fifteenth century to find a word for how beautiful he was. The boy was makeless.


It was the usual struggle between one who loves by accepting burdens and one who loves by refusing to be one.


With boys there was a fundamental assumption that they had a right to be there—not always, but more often than not. With girls, Why her? came up so quickly.


[i]We were fighting so very hard and achieving so very little aside from staying alive. BUT THAT’S EVERYTHING, my father wrote to me, when I told him that in a letter.[/i]


The cards spoke to a suspicion that many whose work is play can never be free of: that you can only flaunt your triviality for so long before punishment is due.


Why do people go to these places, these places that are not for them?It must be that they believe in their night vision. They believe themselves able to draw images up out of the dark.But black wells only yield black water.


Jess couldn’t stop spitting out words, because they were words like blades to hurt, and if she swallowed them, she’d be scraped hollow.


But also . . . I have plenty of people around me to talk to, and no one to be honest with.


This was a little house, with a ceiling that kept getting higher and higher, a hot place with no windows. This was anger.


She looked at the last thing she had written and she felt calm. Then she crossed the words out vehemently, scribbling until even the shape of the sentence was destroyed.


Because he says he can’t stand you and you act like you can’t stand him, and whenever a man and a woman behave like that toward each other, it usually means something’s going on.


No, this is pretty much the same version I read,” I said, because it felt too damn late to back down. I imagine that from time to time some similar situation has led governments to declare war.” pg.57


She encouraged herself to see her very small presence in the world as a good thing, a power, something that a hero might possess.


With growing disbelief, Jess yet again felt herself slipping into the gap – that gap of perception between what is really happening to a person and what others think is happening.


I collected pictures and I drew pictures and I looked at the pictures by myself. And because no one else ever saw them, the pictures were perfect and true. They were alive.


School is one long illness with symptoms that switch every five minutes so you think it’s getting better or worse. But really it’s the same thing for years and years.


A library at night is full of sounds: the unread books can’t stand it any longer and announce their contents, some boasting, some shy, some devious.


I would like to have nothing to do with you for hours on end and then come back and find you, come back with things I’ve thought and found all on my own— on my own, not through you.


Imagine having a mother who worries that you read too much. The question is, what is it that’s supposed to happen to people who read too much? How can you tell when someone’s crossed the line.


I know of witches who whistle at different pitches, calling things that don’t have names.


In Egypt, like everywhere, the land is made to fit the sky; but here it is more so. Here it is possible to say, “This is land,” and point, and “This is sky,” and point, but the eyes can’t discover the dividing line.


… there’s a difference between having no one because you’ve chosen it and having no one because everyone has been taken away.


I was born, and then I was quietly resentful of that fact for a few years…but then I went to a library and it was okay.


I drew a chair up beside her and sang. All I do is dream of you the whole night through . . . It was a horrible rendition, and I quite enjoyed attempting it, setting the notes free from the song as each one went farther and farther astray.


But then, maybe “I don’t believe in you” is the cruelest way to kill a monster.


I tend to prioritize emotional realism above the known laws of time and space, and when you do that, it’s inevitable that strange things happen. Which can be quite enjoyable, I think.



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