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It's been mentioned or suggested that Paradise will not be well studied, because it's about this unimportant intellectual topic, which is religion.
In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.
In becoming an American, from Europe, what one has in common with that other immigrant is contempt for me-it's nothing else but color.
If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.
If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
I'm not entangled in shaping my work according to other people's views of how I should have done it.
I'm always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else's contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we're demons.
I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.
I would solve a lot of literary problems just thinking about a character in the subway, where you can't do anything anyway.
I think some aspects of writing can be taught. Obviously, you can't teach vision or talent. But you can help with comfort.
I merged those two words, black and feminist, because I was surrounded by black women who were very tough and and who always assumed they had to work and rear children and manage homes.
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