Favorite Quotes

"For my totem, the alley cat. We share the situation of small predators who easily become prey. I have my equivalent of claws and teeth, and indeed my arched back and loud hiss are my best defenses. When I need to hide my size and weakness, I can look fiercer than I am, but when I cannot talk or threaten or argue my way out of trouble, then I am in a lot of trouble. We are scavengers in the alleys and streets of a society we do not control and scarcely influence. We survive and perish both by taking lovers. Freedom is a daily necessity like water, and we love most loyally and longest those who allow us at least occasionally to vanish and wander the curious night. To them we always return from the eight deaths before the last."

from Braided Lives by Marge Piercy

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Fortuna is fickle

Golden Hill: a novel of old New York

Title: Golden Hill: a novel of old New York
By: Frances Spufford

He was the one unshackled, as yet unconfined; the one from whom diversion, or news, or any other of the new worlds a stranger may contain, were to be expected. And perhaps desired. For if your fortune at present is not such as pleases you, there is a prospect of mercy, as much as of doom, in the thought that Fortuna is fickle. The goddess’s renown is all in her changeableness, and strangers are her acknowledged messengers.

A lively tale with some curious twists and remarkable turns. A view of the early days of New York, pre-independence, when it was 1/100th the size of London. Young Mr. Smith arrives from London on November 1st, 1746, with a letter of credit so large that the local banker can’t cover it and mistrusts its validity. Since letters travel between the East Coast and Europe by sailing ship, Mr. Smith must manage somehow until further confirmation arrives. His adventures occupy the space of time through December 25th--and I won’t say any more than that, so as not to spoil your enjoyment. I will say that Spufford is an elegant and witty writer who uses period language with a modern sensibility.

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Posted by April on Oct. 30, 2017 at 8:14 a.m.
1 Comment


May 10, 2018 at 1:44 p.m.:

Thanks for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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