In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
I lost an arm on my last trip home.
— Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979)
Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair.
— Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly (1977)
Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
— Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
— Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
— J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”; but that ain’t no matter.
— Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
—Gabriel García Márquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude