Quotes by: Rachel Cusk

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The old world of England was picturesque and safe in a way that L.A. wasn't, but it was so amazingly socially cruel. I had never experienced that in America - never in school, nowhere.
Rachel Cusk
I have a romantic conception of the writer's life, and the sort of writer's life that I admire is probably a childless life, possibly a marriageless life, certainly a travelling life - I'm in awe of how much D.H. Lawrence managed to get around. But that's never been something I'm capable of doing.
Rachel Cusk
Society in the English countryside is still strangely, quaintly divided. If black comedy and a certain type of social commentary are what you want, I think English rural communities offer quite a lot of material.
Rachel Cusk
Shame is something you'll find a lot of - particularly Catholic - girls feel about their bodies, about their sexuality, about their diet, about anything you like. Shame is the way you keep them down. That's the way to crush a girl.
Rachel Cusk
The true self seeks release, not constraint. It doesn't want to be corseted in a sonnet or made to learn a system of musical notations. It wants liberation, which is why very often it fastens on the novel, for the novel seems spacious, undefined, free.
Rachel Cusk
A book is not an example of 'women's writing' simply because it is written by a woman. Writing may become 'women's writing' when it could not have been written by a man.
Rachel Cusk
I was born abroad, but my parents were both English. Still, those few years of separation, and then coming back to England as an outsider, did give me an ability to see the country in a slightly detached way. I suppose I was made aware of what Englishness actually is because I only became immersed in it later in life.
Rachel Cusk
The anorexic body is held in the grip of will alone; its meaning is far from stable. What it says - 'Notice me, feed me, mother me' - is not what it means, for such attentions constitute an agonising test of that will, and also threaten to return the body to the dreaded 'normality' it has been such ecstasy to escape.
Rachel Cusk
I have no sense of a model or predecessor when I write a memoir: For me, the form exists as a method of processing material that retains too many connections to life to be approached strictly and aesthetically. A memoir is a risk, a one-off, a bastard child.
Rachel Cusk
The anorexic is out to prove how little she needs, how little she can survive on; she is out, in a sense, to discredit her nurturers, while at the same time making a public crisis out of her need for nurture. Such vulnerability and such power: it brings the whole female machinery to a halt.
Rachel Cusk
To become a mother is to learn a whole language - to relearn it, perhaps, as it was the tongue to which we were born - and hence gain entrance to a forgotten world of comprehension.
Rachel Cusk
Hope is one of those no-win-no-fee things, and although it needs some encouragement to survive, its existence doesn't necessarily prove anything.
Rachel Cusk
I absolutely don't dislike children - I would choose their company over adult company any time.
Rachel Cusk
It's a taboo that comes back over and over, to suggest that women can feel divided - that you can love your child and want to do everything for it, and at the same time want to put it away from you and reclaim something of yourself.
Rachel Cusk
It seems to me that 'women's writing' by nature would not seek equivalence in the male world. It would be a writing that sought to express a distinction, not deny it.
Rachel Cusk
There are certain types of slightly hysterical human characters who, rather than creating, walk around with a sense of their own potential - it's as if they themselves were art objects. They feel as if their lives are written narratives, or pieces of music.
Rachel Cusk
Childhood, after all, is not an ending, but rather a state full of potent curiosity.
Rachel Cusk
Help is dangerous because it exists outside the human economy: the only payment for help is gratitude.
Rachel Cusk
I don't think I knew that you could be a novelist. I think a lot of my students are in the same condition. I thought it was unreachable, that it was sort of dead people. It took me a long time - I think I was well into novel writing before I really thought, 'Actually, this is a valid pastime.'
Rachel Cusk
Parenthood, like death, is an event for which it is nearly impossible to be prepared. It brings you into a new relationship with the fact of your own existence, a relationship in which one may be rendered helpless.
Rachel Cusk
In memoir, you have to be particularly careful not to alienate the reader by making the material seem too lived-in. It mustn't have too much of the smell of yourself, otherwise the reader will be unable to make it her own.
Rachel Cusk
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