Brontë Quotes About Life, Love, and Loss

The Brontë sisters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—are known and loved for their passionate heroines (usually striding across wild Yorkshire moors), subversive stories, and secret lives. Enjoy these stirring Brontë quotes about life, love, and loss.

“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in this world.” —Charlotte Brontë, The Professor

“She’s hard to guide any way but her own.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“If she were more perfect, she would be less interesting.” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“I’m mortally sorry that you are not worth knocking down!” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

I would always rather be happy than dignified.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same…” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.” —Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; they will make it if they cannot find it.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Because, my dear, beauty is that quality which, next to money, is generally the most attractive to the worst kinds of men.” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Smiles and tears are so alike with me, they are neither of them confined to any particular feelings: I often cry when I am happy, and smile when I am sad.” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine, or than any one can who has not felt how roughly they may be pulled without breaking.” —Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

“I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free…Why am I so changed?” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“No one can be happy in eternal solitude.” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“I have not broken your heart—you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“It is a pity that doing one’s best does not always answer.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Increase of love brings increase of happiness, when it is mutual, and pure as that will be.” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“Reading is my favorite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.” —Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

“I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“How odd it is that we so often weep for each other’s distresses, when we shed not a tear for our own!” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

“You are human and fallible.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“My heart is too thoroughly dried to be broken in a hurry, and I mean to live as long as I can” —Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

I am not an angel, and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Do you have favorite Brontë quotes that’s aren’t on the list? Share them in the comments! Is Anne your favorite? Check out Carolina Ciucci’s Reasons I Love Anne Brontë (And Why You Should Too). Or maybe Charlotte is the Brontë of your heart and Jane Eyre is your favorite novel ever? Here are 16 Beautiful Jane Eyre Book Covers and The 35 Best Lines from Jane Eyre.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

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Inbox/Outbox

My inbox/outbox this week is very in line with my wheelhouse—it’s all international literature written by women! It’s been an amazing week of reading. Everything I picked out was gorgeously written and engaging. Here’s the final list of what I picked up this week, what I read, and what’s in my queue.

Inbox

Strange Weather in Tokyo: A Novel by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell

I’ve been on a Hiromi Kawakami kick lately—I just finished Manazuru and Record of a Night Too Brief—and I can’t wait to start this! Shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a sweet and poignant story of love and loneliness. Tsukiko is 38, lives alone, works in an office, and is not entirely satisfied with her life when she runs into a former high school teacher, her “sensei,” at a bar one night. They talk and over time this “hesitant intimacy” grows into something more. The jacket copy calls it a “moving, funny, and immersive tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.” And if that’s not enough, I hear that Strange Weather has amazing passages describing Japanese food and drink, and I’m a sucker for books about food and love.

Outbox

The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector, translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards 

The Chandelier is Clarice Lispector’s second novel—now translated and published for the first time in English. It just came out this past week and it’s been hotly anticipated by devoted Lispector fans (myself included.) It’s an intense and interior novel following the story of one woman’s life as she seeks freedom and meaning, but it’s also so much more than that. Benjamin Moser, her translator and biographer, writes that it “stands out in a strange and difficult body of work, as perhaps her strangest and most difficult book.” The writing is powerful and strange, fluid and crushing. I’d recommend it particularly to fans of Lispector who want to trace the trajectory of her early work to her later masterpieces, like The Passion According to G.H.

Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki, translated by Polly Barton

Winner of the Akutagawa Prize, Spring Garden is part of the Japanese novella series from Pushkin Press. Spring Garden follows Toro, a divorced man living in an older apartment complex that’s about to be demolished in a rapidly urbanizing Japan. Only a few tenants are left in the building, fulfilling their leases. Toro is drawn into an unusual relationship with Nishi, an artist living upstairs who tells him about her interest in the sky-blue house next door to the complex. The house soon becomes symbolic to both Taro and Nishi “of what is lost, of what has been destroyed, and of what hope may yet lie in the future for both of them.” This poignant novella of memory and loss left me stunned.

In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich, translated by Bela Shayevich

Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time has been on my radar for years but it has popped back up with the announcement earlier this month that the translator Bela Shayevich and editor Jacques Testard won the inaugural TA First Translation Prize for their work on the book. Secondhand Time is an oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia in Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style. It looks like a brilliant and powerful must-read.

The Apartment in Bab El-Louk by Donia Maher, illustrated by Ganzeer and Ahmed Nady, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette

The Apartment in Bab El-Louk is an award-winning novel by Donia Maher, illustrated by the artist Ganzeer and political cartoonist Ahmed Nady, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette (also the translator of an earth-shattering favorite of mine, The Queue.) It’s a gritty noir poem that follows the reflections of an old recluse in the busy Cairo neighborhood of Bab El-Louk. It’s absolutely gorgeous too (see the design of the book here) and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

What does your inbox/outbox look like this week?

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Announcing the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist

The 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist has been announced! The list is comprised of 16 novels that meet the award criteria of “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.” This year’s longlist has a mixture of both well-established writers (notably Arundhati Roy, Jennifer Egan, and the force to be reckoned with that is Jesmyn Ward) and debut authors like Gail Honeyman.  The list also spans a range of genres and four continents.

Sarah Sands, the 2018 Chair of Judges commented, “What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed. We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.”

The shortlist will be announced on April 23rd and the winner will be announced on June 6th.

And here’s the list!

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wifeby Meena Kandasamy

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Jane Austen Quotes about Life, Love, and More

Jane Austen is beloved the world over for her wit, charm, and keen understanding of the human heart. Enjoy these Jane Austen quotes about life, love, society, money, marriage, and more!

“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” —Mansfield Park

“It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her.” —Emma

“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.” —Pride and Prejudice

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” —Sense and Sensibility

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” —Emma

 

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Northanger Abbey

“Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.” —Emma

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” —Mansfield Park

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” —Emma

“Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” —Sense and Sensibility

“Is not general incivility the very essence of love?” —Pride and Prejudice

“A woman, especially if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” —Northanger Abbey

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” —Persuasion

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” —Northanger Abbey

“[N]obody minds having what is too good for them.” —Mansfield Park

“A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.” —Persuasion

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” —Mansfield Park

“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.” —Mansfield Park

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” —Pride and Prejudice

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?” —Pride and Prejudice

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” —Emma

“We are to have a tiny party here tonight. I hate tiny parties—they force one into constant exertion.” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“Know your own happiness.” —Sense and Sensibility

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” —Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” —Pride and Prejudice

Do you have favorite Jane Austen quotes that’s aren’t on the list? Share them in the comments!

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Maine Reading Retreat

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I visited Maine this weekend for a reading retreat with four of my girlfriends who also work in publishing. We rented a beautiful beach house that overlooked the ocean on one side and the Saco River on the other. It was a beautiful house and we sat near the fireplace, read books, cooked together, and had the most amazing time. Compared to living in the city, it was so quiet and peaceful—perfect for getting a lot of reading and writing done! Here are some of my reading highlights from the trip:

  • Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich: This was my first read of the weekend and it’s this beautiful, profound, haunting story of loss. Twelve years ago Kei’s husband, Rei, disappeared and she was left alone with their daughter. Now we watch Kei struggle to move on and put the past behind her as she’s haunted by ghosts both figuratively and literally.
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: I loved this book! It’s a dark, clever, startling debut and its got elements of fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland. I was lost in it for hours, absolutely enthralled by the writing and the beautiful design.
  • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot: Heart Berries is a powerful memoir of Terese Marie Mailhot’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. The memoir is one of struggle, as she details her dysfunctional upbringing and challenges indigenous women face, but ultimately one of strength and will.

Dark Books in Translation For Dark Winter Nights

I find that there’s nothing better for a dark winter night than a dark, strange book. Maybe it’s a thriller or a mystery, or maybe a collection of stories, but I love a good creepy book. I’ve collected here some dark books in translation for cold winter nights. All of these books are short, written by women (who better to really scare you?), and absolutely unsettling.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang, Translated by Deborah Smith

I love Man Booker International Prize–Winner The Vegetarian by Han Kang. It’s a beautiful and provocative story about a woman, Yeong-hye, who begins to have horrible nightmares—of blood and carnage—and in order to clear her mind and rid herself of these dreams she becomes a vegetarian. The story becomes one of control and power as her husband and family try to break her into submission, back into the norms of Korean society. To further emphasize her lack of control, Yeong-hye’s own story is told by others, in three parts, first by her husband, then her brother-in-law, and finally by her sister. It’s a dark, fascinating book that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez, Translated by Megan McDowell 

I was blown away by this collection of dark, macabre short stories set in contemporary Argentina. They are stories of ghosts, disappearances, violence, inequality, and more and I promise that you will be haunted by them. My favorites were stories of obsession like “The Dirty Kid” in which a young professional woman discovers that a local child has been killed and mutilated, and “The Neighbor’s Courtyard,” a story of an ex-social worker who believes her neighbor has a child chained up in the backyard. The collection is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado.

Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, Translated by Sora Kim-Russell 

Nowhere to Be Found follows a nameless narrator’s search not for meaning, but for meaninglessness, in contemporary South Korea. Bae Suah’s young narrator describes her empty existence as she travels through life, barely moved by the disintegrated state of her family and her own poverty and loneliness. Translator Sora Kim-Russell describes it as “a road novel turned inside out, a story of a woman’s journey out of and into desire told as only Bae Suah could tell it.” Blurred descriptions of a life full of trivial banalities are thrown against dark, sadomasochistic sex scenes. The abrupt shifts are disorienting and unsettling and Suah breaks boundaries, constantly, between recollection and memory, facts and fiction.

Fever Dream by Samanta  Schweblin, Translated by Megan McDowell

Translated into English for the first time, Fever Dream is an eerie, absorbing novel about the “power and desperation of family.” A young woman is in a rural hospital clinic, delirious and dying. A boy named David, the son of a friend, waits by her bedside as Amanda tries to piece together how she came to be there and where her own daughter is. But there’s something wrong with David, wrong with the place Amanda finds herself, and maybe something wrong with Amanda too. The writing is tight and sparse but absolutely absorbing and you’ll find yourself racing to the end of this small but powerful book.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

A New National Book Award and Another Strike for The New York Times

The National Book Foundation recently announced that it will now present a fifth National Book Award category, honoring a work of fiction or nonfiction that has been translated into English and published in the U.S. The inaugural award will join the other four categories—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature—and be presented at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony in the fall.

The decision to create the new award was made unanimously. Executive Director Lisa Lucas states that, “We want American readers to deeply value an inclusive, big-picture point of view, and the National Book Award for Translated Literature is part of a commitment to that principle. The addition of this award lends crucial visibility to works that have the power to touch us as American readers in search of broadened perspective.”

It’s truly wonderful news and I’m thrilled to see more support and resources going toward the promotion of literature in translation.

And the New York Times covered the exciting news and totally fucked it up.

The literature in translation community is a supportive and generous one and all of the increased mainstream recognition of translated works and the category as a whole is because of the passion and hard work of writers, translators, small independent publishers, and devoted booksellers. Which is why completely ignoring the Best Translated Book Awards, an award that has been around since 2007, was started by an extension of a small independent press, Open Letter Books, and gives out $20,000 in prize money (which is double that of the new National Book Award) literally makes no sense to me. Is it shoddy journalism? Was this article just written too quickly? I don’t know. (There are some other small factual hang-ups with this article that I’m choosing to not discuss.)

But maybe the author just wanted to focus on THIS award, you say!

The author discusses other literary awards: “Other literary institutions have also made efforts to highlight works in translation. The PEN America Center has given out a translation prize to highlight international works since the 1960s. In 2015, the Booker Prize Foundation recast its international prize…”

Why does it matter?

It matters because that wonderful community built this award. It was started by a small press and so many others have contributed to its growth and success. By not including it and instead putting off this weird tone where you write things like, “…there’s still a lingering perception that translated literature doesn’t sell well in the United States” and “When other major literary awards have expanded their geographic reach, there’s occasionally been a backlash…” it just makes for a really shitty, weird, poorly researched article. I’m not expecting the Times to be a translation cheerleader, but can we have a slightly better news write-up?

Now, I interned at Open Letter, have reviewed for Three Percent, and have been a supporter of literature in translation in ways both big and small, so I understand that this matters to me in ways that it might not to others, but this is twice now (in my recent memory) that the Timesbook coverage has really missed the mark. Remember when they alienated and enraged the romance community?        

Here’s a happy ending for you though. On Twitter, Lisa Lucas put out a call for a thread to “all the amazing publishers/magazines/awards who put out/champion translated literature!” and the responses are staggering. It’s a true testament to the breadth and depth of the literature in translation community and their support of one another.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.