"In 1954 I was faced with a choice: I could either be a shocking writer or a middle class girl. Actually, I was neither. A shocking young girl and a middle class writer might have been a more accurate description."
"I sometimes think that life is just a horrible joke. If you're the slightest bit sensitive, things constantly touch you on the raw. Little things nag at you, get on your nerves all the time. Something on television, a passing comment from a policeman or a concierge. Something inside you panics, just like a little animal, a squirrel in a cage. So you have a drink."
"The pleasure of telling stories and telling myself stories. There's no way you can explain the pleasure you get out of writing. All at once you find a noun and an adjective that go together perfectly. You never know why, but two fantastic words suddenly match perfectly. It may not be what you meant to say, but it's just right. It's like walking through a beautiful landscape you don't know. It's beautiful, but it can also be humiliating if you can't write what you want to write. It's rather like dying; you feel so ashamed of yourself, ashamed of what you've written. But when it's going well, you feel like a well-oiled machine that's running perfectly. It's like watching someone run a hundred yards in ten seconds. It's a miracle; the sentences build up and your mind seems to be working automatically. It's as though you were watching yourself."
"What strikes me most about myself, the people I know and the people I've known in the past it the constant loneliness. That's not a minor, harmless theme."