She was born Sarah Breedlove on a plantation in Delta, Louisiana, where her parents had been slaves. At 14, she married to get a home of her own, to get away from a cruel brother-in-law with whom she was living. At 17, she had her only child, A'Lelia, who I'm named after.
I think women can be as cruel as men, and men as tender as women, and vice versa.
I think there is a complicated side effect to overcoming evil in that we are forever changed by it. I think after we ingest some of the cruelty of the world, it takes years off of our lives, but it also gives us wisdom and a little grace, hopefully a sense of compassion.
I think there's a lot of catastrophe in this world and a lot of cruelty and a lot of carelessness.
Colonialism is known in its primitive form, that is to say, by the permanent settling of repressive foreign powers, with an army, services, policies. This phase has known cruel colonial occupations which have lasted 300 years in Indonesia.
No matter what your views are on abortion, the Eighth Amendment in the Constitution is a very cruel, cruel law which benefits no one.
I don't inflict horrors on readers. In my research, I've uncovered truly terrible documentations of cruelty and torture, but I leave that offstage. I always pull back and let the reader imagine the details. We all know to one degree or another the horrors of war.
Given appropriate social conditions, decent, ordinary people can be led to do extraordinarily cruel things.
It's in our ability to selectively engage and disengage our moral standards, and it helps explain how people can be barbarically cruel in one moment and compassionate the next.
This getting old is something. I think I envy my dog, because my dog is sixteen, and she's limping, and she's still living, but she doesn't look at me like she knows. She's not thinking what I'm thinking. It's a cruel trick that we all know the ending.