Kiran Desai quotes

  • Writing, for me, means humility. It’s a process that involves fear and doubt, especially if you’re writing honestly.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Mean #Humility

  • The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Change #Past #Left Behind

  • This way of leaving your family for work had condemned them over several generations to have their hearts always in other places, their minds thinking about people elsewhere; they could never be in a single existence at one time. How wonderful it was going to be to have things otherwise.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Heart #Thinking #People

  • Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Loss #Contentment #Desire

  • A journey once begun, has no end
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Journey #Ends

  • Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss?
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Loss #Fulfillment

  • The publishing world is very timid. Readers are much braver.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #World #Reader #Publishing

  • She'd have to propel herself into the future by whatever means possible or she'd be trapped forever in a place whose times had already passed.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Travel #Mean #Forever

  • You lived intensely with others, only to have them disappear overnight, since the shadow class was condemned to movement. The men left for other jobs, towns, got deported, returned home, changed names. Sometimes someone came popping around a corner again, or on the subway then they vanished again. Addresses, phone numbers did not hold. The emptiness Biju felt returned to him over and over, until eventually he made sure not to let friendships sink deep anymore.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Jobs #Home #Men

  • Sadness was so claustrophobic.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Sadness

  • Why couldn't she be part of that family? rent a room in someone else's life.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Rooms

  • When he died, I went about like a ragged crow telling strangers, "My father died, my father died." My indiscretion embarrassed me, but I could not help it. Without my father on his Delhi rooftop, why was I here? Without him there, why should I go back? Without that ache between us, what was I made of?
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Father #Crow #Rooftops

  • Slowly, painstakingly, like ants, men would make their paths and civilization and their wars once again, only to have it wash away again.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #War #Men #Civilization

  • Looking a dead insect in the sack of basmati that had come all the way from Dehra Dun, he almost wept with sorrow and marvel at its journey, which was tenderness for his own journey. In India almost nobody would be able to afford this rice, and you had to travel around the world to be able to eat such things where they were cheap enough that you could gobble them down without being rich; and when you got home to the place where they grew, you couldn't afford them anymore.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Home #Journey #Sorrow

  • But then, how could you have any self-respect knowing that you didn't believe in anything exactly? How did you embrace what was yours if you didn't leave something for it? How did you create a life of meaning and pride?
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Believe #Pride #Self

  • When I was growing up the publishing world seemed so far away. When my mother wrote a book, she would look up the address of publishers on the backs of the books she owned and send off her manuscript.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Mother #Growing Up #Book

  • In India, if you are from the elite, dogs are extremely important. The breed of the dog indicates your wealth, that you are westernized. The cook, another human being, is on a much lower level than your dog. You see this all the time.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Dog #Important #India

  • If you write a lovely story about India, you're criticized for selling an exotic version of India. And if you write critically about India, you're seen as portraying it in a negative light - it also seems to be a popular way to present India, sort of mangoes and beggars.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Light #Lovely

  • I'm always in the kitchen, cooking and experimenting - I love it. And every now and then I think, 'I should write a cookbook' or, 'I should write for food magazines.' And then I get drawn back to writing fiction again.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Thinking #Cooking

  • When you write on your own, you can write the extremes. No one else is watching and you can really go as far as you need to.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Needs #Extremes

  • I feel as comfortable anywhere as I feel uncomfortable anywhere.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Uncomfortable #Feels

  • All day, the colors had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water creature across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Ocean #Moving #Color

  • A man wasn't equal to an animal, not one particle of him. Human life was stinking corrupt, and meanwhile there were beautiful creatures who lived with delicacy on the earth without doing anyone harm. "We should be dying." the judge almost wept.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Beautiful #Men #Animal

  • Jemu watched his father disappear. He didn't throw the coconut and he didn't cry. Never again would he know love for another human being that wasn't adulterated by another, contradictory emotion.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Father #Coconuts #Emotion

  • No fruit dies so vile and offensive a death as the banana...
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Fruit #Bananas #Offensive

  • Saeed quickly found employment at a Banana Republic, where he would sell to urban sophisticates the black turtleneck of the season, in a shop whose name was synonymous with colonial exploitation and the rapacious ruin of the third world.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Names #Black #World

  • I don't think you can write according to a set of rules and laws; every writer is so different.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Thinking #Law

  • We think of immigration as a Western issue but, of course, it isn't.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Thinking #Issues #Immigration

  • The Indian diaspora is a wonderful place to write from, and I am lucky to be part of it.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Writing #Lucky #Diaspora

  • New York is a lovely city. It is an easy city to go back to and an easy city to leave. Every time I go there I immediately make travel plans.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #New York #Cities #Lovely

  • I do think that the modern India does belong to writers who are living in India.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Thinking #India #Doe

  • I love Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Flannery O'Connor. I read a lot of American writers.
    -- Kiran Desai

    #Tennessee #Truman #American Writer