Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quotes from "The Wife," by Meg Wolitzer

I finished this book in December; a review of it is coming soon. In the meantime, here are quotes from it.

"As a rule, the men who own the world are hyperactively sexual, though not necessarily with their wives."

"'Ah, a Sarah Lawrence girl,' he said with pleasure, deciding at that moment she was a highly creative type, her hands damp with both acrylic paint from art class and ambrosia from some middle-of-the-night winter-solstice ritual."

"All first wives are crazy- violently and eye-rollingly so."

"New York City was a spectacular place in which to take a walk in the middle of the night if you were a young, ambitious, confident man."

"Of course she ached to be a writer. Like so many women, she burned for it, all she wanted to do was to publish, and her whole life was leading toward the moment when she found an agent and a publisher and her first book appeared."

"Everyone knows how women soldier on, how women dream up blueprints, recipes, ideas for a better world, and then sometimes lose them on the way to the crib in the middle of the night, on the way to the Stop & Shop, or the bath. They lose them on the way to greasing the path on which their husband and children will ride serenely through life.

But it's their choice... they make a choice to be that kind of wife, that kind of mother. Nobody forces them anymore; that's all over now. We had a women's movement in America, we had Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem... we're in a whole new world now. Women are powerful.

Everyone needs a wife; even wives need wives. Wives tend; they hover. Their ears are twin sensitive instruments, satellites pricking up the slightest scrape of dissatisfaciton. Wives bring broth, we bring paper clips, we bring ourselves and our pliant, warm bodies. We know just what to say to the men who for some reason have a great deal of trouble taking consistent care of themselves or anyone else.

'Listen,' we say. 'Everything will be okay.'

And then, as if our lives depend on it, we make sure it is."

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