[speaking of his wife, author Cassandra King] I'll hear her cackle with laughter at some funny line she's written. I've never cackled with laughter at a single line I've ever written. None of it has given me pleasure. She writes with pleasure and joy, and I sit there in gloom and darkness.
[Talking to his mother on her death bed] Oh, Mama, oh, mother of mine, you who opened up the universe for me with all the stuff of language, I'll make you so beautiful. Because you made me a writer and presented me the tongues and a passion for language, I can lift you off that bed, banish the cancer from your cells forever.