Michael Dorris, fully Michael Anthony Dorris

Dorris, fully Michael Anthony Dorris

American Novelist and Scholar

Author Quotes

What chance has this kid had to develop? I believe in the positive impact of environment, and with me he'll catch up.

The necessity of loyalty between friends, the responsibility that the strong owe the infirm, the illusion of ill-gotten gain, the rewards of hard work, honesty, and trust-these are enduring truths glimpsed and judged first through the imagination, first through art.

The World Bank, anxious that the last vestiges of Zimbabwe's former inclination toward socialism be abandoned, successfully urged the imposition of a token tuition charge for all grade levels. Equivalent to one U. S. dollar per year per child, this fee constitutes a burden to the poorest families, who have responded by sending only boys to classes. Too many of the girls . . . have resorted to prostitution in order to eat.

To be known for one's saddest story is not the road to notoriety anyone would willingly choose.

We Americans are tempted to distinguish ourselves from other current and former inhabitants of this planet by assuming that we are ruled by "progress."

We watched each other, those strangers and I, like the finalists in a bad news lottery, each willing the other to win. Statistically, some of us would escape this night with our child and our lives intact, but not all.

Identifying home is then in essence an act of ongoing imagination.

I'm usually working on more than one book at a time -- a young adult novel, an adult non-fiction, and an adult fiction. When I get blocked on one, moving to the other is such a relief that I usually have something to say.

In a matrilocal kinship system, a woman remains a resident in the household of her birth, and passes on the privilege to her own daughters and granddaughters.

I've always liked to listen to stories; being a writer means I get to tell them to myself. Great job.

Love makes us larger and limits our possibilities. It changes our history even as it breaks a new path through the present. It may, through accident or inattention, through expediency or tragic circumstance, cease, but once in place it can never afterward not have been.

Love transforms: it simultaneously makes us larger and limits our possibilities. It changes our history even as it breaks a new path through the present.

Dinner is to a day what dessert is to dinner.

For years I assumed I was fighting the effects of his medication, battering the barriers of his late start, scaling self-protective walls erected against the neglect he experienced as an infant. It was not until the following summer, when Adam was still five years old, that I began to have an inkling that my real adversary was the lingering ghost of Adam's biological mother already dead in 1973 of acute alcohol poisoning.

How long does it last? Said the other customer, a man wearing a tan shirt with little straps that buttoned on top of the shoulders. He looked as if he were comparing all the pros and cons before shelling out $.99. You could see he thought he was pretty shrewd. It lasts for as long as you live, the manager said slowly. There was a second of silence while we all thought about that. The man in the tan shirt drew his head back, tucking his chin into his neck. His mind was working like a house on fire. What about other people? He asked. The wife? The kids? They can use your membership as long as you're alive, the manager said, making the distinction clear. Then what? The man asked, louder. He was the type who said things like you get what you pay for and there's one born every minute and was considering every angle. He didn't want to get taken for a ride by his own death. That's all, the manager said, waving his hands, palms down, like a football referee ruling an extra point no good. Then they'd have to join for themselves or forfeit the privileges. Well then, it makes sense, the man said, on top of the situation now, for the youngest one to join. The one that's likely to live the longest. I can't argue with that, said the manager. The man chewed his lip while he mentally reviewed his family. Who would go first. Who would survive the longest. He cast his eyes around to all the cassettes as if he'd see one that would answer his question. The woman had not gone away. She had brought along her signed agreement, the one that she paid $25 for. What is this accident waiver clause? She asked the manager.Look, he said, now exhibiting his hands to show they were empty, nothing up his sleeve, I live in the real world. I'm a small businessman, right? I have to protect my investment, don't I? What would happen if, and I'm not suggesting you'd do this, all right, but some people might, what would happen if you decided to watch one of my movies in the bathtub and a VCR you rented from me fell into the water? The woman retreated a step. This thought had clearly not occurred to her before.

I like books with heart and sweep ? books that move me emotionally (either to laughter or tears) and that are rich in characters. And yes, sure, I am always instructed by the good (or bad!) writing of others.

And she has been there. I know because her senior high school yearbook, the one with no Daytons, is gone from the bureau where i had left it. She's seen my things scattered about. She knows I'm still here. But she didn't wait Part of me doesn't want to give up, and makes excuses. She'll be back =, it says. She just didn't want to run into Aunt Ida. Now that she knows you're here... But she knew it. Where else would I be? I have to face it: I'm not as important as some package she needs from Seattle. My presence won't bring her back. Don't ask so many questions and they will all be answered.

I watched the way you watch when you know you want to remember.

At different stages of our lives, the signs of love may vary – dependence, attraction, contentment, worry, loyalty, grief – but at heart, the source is always the same. Human beings have the rare capacity to connect with each other, against every odd. We hurtle, bonded by blood or desire, into the question “What next?” – our futures temporarily one, our pasts conjoined in unlikely, fragile alliance.

Fear is a memory of better times. Fear is a dream.

Here are two facts that should not both be true:
- There is sufficient food produced in the world every year to feed every human being on the planet.
- Nearly 800 million people literally go hungry every day, with more than a third of the earth's population -- 2 billion men and women -- malnourished one way or another, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Protecting children from racism is every bit as important as insuring that they avoid playing with electrical sockets. Poison is poison, and ingrained oppressive cultural attitudes are at least as hard to antidote, once implanted, as are imbibed cleaning fluids. No one gains by allowing an inequitable and discriminatory status quo to persist.

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Dorris, fully Michael Anthony Dorris
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American Novelist and Scholar