I was in the third grade when I first discovered the power of confession. All at once I was overwhelmed by a shattering sense of guilt. It was, I know now, a pure guilt: That is, I had no fear of retribution; I knew that teasing wasn't, strictly speaking, a punishable offense; nor did I believe in an afterlife in which I would suffer for my crime. All I knew was that I had been cruel to someone who was innocent and younger than myself.
— Novelist Francine Prose
Francine's most recent work is Blue Angel.
There's a saying (I'm sure you've heard it): It's the things you don't do in life that you regret. Well, I'm here to tell you: That's a big lie. Sometimes I'll be walking down the street, and I'll suddenly think of one of any number of Mr. Wrongs, the ones I didn't go to bed with. The thought of all the grief I've saved myself fills me with an exhilaration like helium; I haven't had a man, but I've had the whole world instead. It's a feeling they don't sing songs or make movies about, but it's real all the same.
— Laura Miller
Laura is the editor of The Salon.Com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors.
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