Madness is not hysteria. It can be very quiet…
- Anne Sexton, A Self-Portrait in Letters

metaphors as monstrous as orchids, and as subtle in colour.
- Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray.

When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar,” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. “My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.”
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions? How often had I sped past them as I learned of male achievement and men’s place in the history books? Then I read Rosalind Miles’s book “The Women’s History of the World” (recently republished as “Who Cooked the Last Supper?”) and I knew I needed to look again. History is full of fabulous females who have been systematically ignored, forgotten or simply written out of the records. They’re not all saints, they’re not all geniuses, but they do deserve remembering.
- Sandi Toksvig, ‘Top 10 unsung heroines’

I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Beautiful and Damned

I always marvel at the humans’ ability to keep going. They always manage to stagger on even with tears streaming down their faces.
- Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Never trust a survivor,” my father used to warn me, “until you find out what he did to stay alive.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

A witch is just a girl who knows her mind.
- Catherynne M. Valente, from “The Bread We Eat in Dreams,”

Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. Create.
- Anaïs Nin, from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
- Neil Gaiman, Coraline