"The sheriff knew a nasty bit when he saw it. He was accustomed to enter upon scenes that were not as bad as he had hoped to find them, but this one met his expectations." --The Comforts of Home
"She had never been kissed before and she was pleased to discover that it was an unexceptional experience and all a matter of the mind's control. Some people might enjoy drain water if they were told it was vodka."
--Good Country People
"You needn't act as if the world had come to and end," he said, "because it hasn't. From now on you've got to live in a new world and face a few realities for a change. Buck up, " he said, "it won't kill you."
--Everything that Rises Must Converge
"Any criticism at all which depresses you to the extent that you feel you cannot ever write anything worth anything is from the Devil and to subject yourself to it is for you an occasion of sin."
--Letter to Betty Hester, November 15, 1960, "The Habit of Being"
"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." - A Temple of the Holy Ghost
"Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher." -Letter