“He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed mustache, hair turning silver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like the tinted windows of a sleek limousine—he could see out, but you could not see in.” John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

“When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, a scrap of paper with her sister’s address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money.” Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.

“Brooklyn looms large in the imagination, but its long history seems difficult to capture.” Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier, Brooklyn! An Illustrated History.

“I am an invisible man.” Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man.

“Picking a fight was an odd way to say good-bye.” Michael Doran, Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East.

“They say it came from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved, that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles.” Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Junot Wao.

“The American Dream was remade on Baltimore’s Eastern Avenue.” Andrew Hurley, Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture.

“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960, and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex.

“The Reformation superseded an infallible Pope with an infallible Bible; the American Revolution replaced the sway of a king with that of a document.” Edward S. Corwin, The “Higher Law” Background of American Constitutional Law.

“One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went round to Piglet’s house to see what Piglet was doing.” A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner.


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