| America is a country that seems forever to be toddler or teenager, at those two stages of human development characterized by conflict between autonomy and security.
| There is something so settled and stodgy about turning a great romance into next of kin on an emergency room form, and something so soothing and special, too.
| I'm sure not afraid of success and I've learned not to be afraid of failure. The only thing I'm afraid of now is of being someone I don't like much.
| The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
| Women who marry early are often overly enamored of the kind of man who looks great in wedding pictures and passes the maid of honor his telephone number.
| I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
| I would even go to Washington, which is saying something for me, just to glimpse Jane Q. Public, being sworn in as the first female president of the United States, while her husband holds the Bible and wears a silly pill box hat and matching coat.
| If God had meant Harvard professors to appear in People magazine, She wouldn't have invented The New York Review of Books.
| A finished person is a boring person.
| The clearest explanation for the failure of any marriage is that the two people are incompatible; that is, that one is male and the other female.
| There is little premium in poetry in a world that thinks of Pound and Whitman as a weight and a sampler, not an Ezra, a Walt, a thing of beauty, a joy forever.
| Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed.
| If you want something, it will elude you. If you do not want something, you will get ten of it in the mail.
| The future is built on brains, not prom court, as most people can tell you after attending their high school reunion. But you'd never know it by talking to kids or listening to the messages they get from the culture and even from their schools.
| I once wanted to be a personage. Now I am comfortable being a person.
| There is only room in the lifeboat of your life for one, and you always choose yourself, and turn your parents into whatever it takes to keep you afloat.
| Look back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts.
| Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them.
| But it's important, while we are supporting lessons in respecting others, to remember that many of our youngest kids need to learn to respect themselves. You learn your worth from the way you are treated.
| The problem... is emblematic of what hasn't changed during the equal opportunity revolution of the last 20 years. Doors opened; opportunities evolved. Law, institutions, corporations moved forward. But many minds did not.