48448. “There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” ― C. JoyBell C.
48437. “What is a wife for if not to produce sons? Why are you so obsessed with having a son? It’s so feudal! Don;t you know that men and women are equal now? My brother has no sons, so it’s my responsibility to continue the family line. Our daughters will join their husband’s family when they marry, and their names won’t be recorded in the Kong register. So they serve no purpose to us. Still clinging to those outmoded Confucian beliefs! I warn you the modern world will leave you behind. Huh! Just a few days on the road and already you’ve become worldly-wise! Don’t forget, you left school at eight while I graduated at sixteen, so I’ll always be cleverer than you. Stop being so patronising. We’re both fugitives now. Let’s see how far your male chauvinism gets you here.” ― Ma Jian, The Dark Road
48431. “Decades of indoctrination, propaganda, violence and untruths have left the Chinese people so numb and confused, they have lost the ability to tell fact from fiction. They have swallowed the lie that the Party leaders are responsible for the country’s economic miracle, rather than the vast army of low-paid workers. The rabid consumerism encouraged in the last thirty years and which, along with inflated nationalism, lies at the heart of the China Dream is turning the Chinese into overgrown children who are fed, clothed and entertained, but have no right to remember the past or ask questions.” ― Ma Jian, China Dream
48415. “She discovered that women don’t own their bodies: their wombs and genitals are battle zones over which their husbands and the state fight for control – territories their husbands invade for sexual gratification and to produce male heirs, and which the state probes, monitors, guards and scrapes so as to assert its power and spread fear. These continual intrusions into her bodu’s most intimate parts have made her lose her sense of who she is. All she is certain of is that she is a legal wife and an illegal mother. I’d be better off dead.” ― Ma Jian, The Dark Road
48413. “On July 3, 1968, Chairman Mao issued an order calling for the ruthless suppression of class enemies. He wanted all members of the Five Black Categories to be eliminated, together with TWENTY THREE NEW TYPES of enemy , which included anyone who had ever served as a policeman before the Liberation, or who had been sent to prison or labor camp. And not only them but their family and distant relatives as well. That’s a lot of people. Yes. Just think, the literal meaning of the Chinese characters for “revolution” is “elimination of life” ― Ma Jian, Beijing Coma
48412. Before the counter-culture revolutionary Li Lian was executed in 1971 for criticising the Cultural Revolution, pour policemen pushed her face against the window of a truck, lifted her shirt and cut out her kidneys with a surgical knife,’ Mau Sen said, his face stony and white. ‘I think that removing the organs of convicts while they are still alive is too much. It completely contravenes medical ethics.’ ‘This is a dissection class, not a political meeting,’ Sun Chunlin said.” ― Ma Jian, Beijing Coma
48410. “Before the sparrow arrived, you had almost stopped thinking about flight. Then, last winter, it soared through the sky and landed in front of you, or more precisely on the windowsill of the covered balcony adjoining your bedroom. You knew the grimy window panes were caked with dead ants and dust, and smelt as sour as the curtains. But the sparrow wasn’t put off. It jumped inside the covered balcony and ruffled its feathers, releasing a sweet smell of tree bark into the air. Then it flew into your bedroom, landed on your chest and stayed there like a cold egg.” ― Ma Jian, Beijing Coma
48394. “It’s been five years since she was here, but the memory replays itself across my mind as if I were standing beside her on that quiet afternoon. We all leave markers behind – dead or alive – vibrations that trail behind us through all the places we’ve been. And if you know how to see them, the imprints of a person can be found – and followed. But like all things, they fade with time, become less clear, until finally they are washed over with new memories, new people who have passed through here.” ― Shea Ernshaw, A History of Wild Places
48388. “There is no history in a place until we make it, until you live a life worth remembering. We have made a history here – some of it was more folklore than truth, more fear than anything else. But some of it was good. Some of it lives inside each of us, the history of this wild, wild, land…. I wonder if she will love this place as I do. If she will feel rooted here at birth. If she will look up at the stars and know, we’re all just trying to find our way home.” ― Shea Ernshaw, A History of Wild Places
38362. “And late at night when he folds her in his arms beside the crackling fire and kisses the space just behind her ear, she knows he’s falling in love with her. And maybe he’s loved her long before this, long before he pulled her from the water on the night of the summer solstice—the night that is a blur in her memory. But she doesn’t ask. She doesn’t want to know about the before. Because she loves him now, with the wind seeping through the cracks in the cottage windows…the world stretched out before them. They have eternity. Or even if it’s just one life, one long, singular life—that’s enough.” ― Shea Ernshaw, The Wicked Deep