Philip Pullman, Andrew Vachss, Fannie Hurst, John le Carré

De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010


Uit: The Amber Spyglass

Ama climbed the path to the cave, as she’d done for many days now, bread and milk in the bag on her back, a heavy puzzlement in her heart. How in the world could she ever manage to reach the sleeping girl? Would the woman never leave the cave for more than a few minutes?
Ama came to the rock where the woman had told her to leave the food since she wasn’t allowed in the cave anymore. She put down the bag, but she didn’t go straight home; she climbed a little farther, up past the cave and through the thick rhododendrons, and farther up still to where the trees thinned out and the rainbows began.
This part of the valley was where the streams and cascades ran most confusingly: shafts of green-white water would sink into potholes and emerge a little lower down, or gush upward in splintered fountains, or divide into myriad streamlets, or swirl round and round trapped in a whirlpool. When the world was frozen, spears and shelves and columns of glassy ice grew over every surface, and under it all, the water could still be heard gushing and tinkling, and spray still escaped to the air for the rainbows to form.
Ama and her daemon climbed up over the rock shelves and around the little cataracts, past the whirlpools and through the spectrum-tinted spray, until her hair and her eyelids and his squirrel fur were beaded all over with a million tiny pearls of moisture. The game was to get to the top without wiping your eyes, despite the temptation, and the sunlight sparkled and fractured into red, yellow, green, blue, and every color between right in front of Ama’s eyes, but she mustn’t wipe her hand across to see better until she got right to the top, or the game would be lost.
Kulang, her daemon, sprang to a rock near the top of the little waterfall, and she knew he would turn at once to watch and make sure she didn’t brush the moisture off her eyelashes – except that he didn’t.”


Philip Pullman
(Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010


Uit: The Vertical City

„By that same architectural gesture of grief which caused Jehan at Agra to erect the Taj Mahal in memory of a dead wife and a cold hearthstone, so the Bon Ton hotel, even to the pillars with red-freckled monoliths and peacock-backed lobby chairs, making the analogy rather absurdly complete, reared its fourteen stories of “elegantly furnished suites, all the comforts and none of the discomforts of home.”

A mausoleum to the hearth. And as true to form as any that ever mourned the dynastic bones of an Augustus or a Hadrian.

An Indiana-limestone and Vermont-marble tomb to Hestia.

All ye who enter here, at sixty dollars a week and up, leave behind the lingo of the fireside chair, parsley bed, servant problem, cretonne shoe bags, hose nozzle, striped awnings, attic trunks, bird houses, ice-cream salt, spare-room matting, bungalow aprons, mayonnaise receipt, fruit jars, spring painting, summer covers, fall cleaning, winter apples.

The mosaic tablet of the family hotel is nailed to the room side of each door and its commandments read something like this:

One ring: Bell Boy.

Two rings: Chambermaid.

Three rings: Valet.

Under no conditions are guests permitted to use electric irons in

Cooking in rooms not permitted.

No dogs allowed.

Management not responsible for loss or theft of jewels. Same can be
deposited for safe-keeping in the safe at office.

Our famous two-dollar Table d’Hote dinner is served in the Red
Dining Room from six-thirty to eight. Music.

It is doubtful if in all its hothouse garden of women the Hotel Bon Ton boasted a broken finger nail or that little brash place along the forefinger that tattles so of potato peeling or asparagus scraping.“


Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010


Uit: Flood

„The outside of Flood’s studio was deserted, no action in the halls. I rang for the freight elevator and went to the stairs when I heard it start to move. Checked the elevator entrance, nobody around. The Plymouth was sitting untouched where I’d left it. I didn’t expect anything else—any fool who tried to take off the tires would have to be wearing razor-proof gloves, for openers.

I got back to the office just as the sun was breaking over the Hudson. A few solitary men were standing on the piers with fishing tackle, setting up for the day. The fish in the Hudson aren’t much to look at, never grow too big or have bright colors. But the guys who fish down there tell me they put up a hell of a fight. I figured that any fish who could survive the Hudson River would have to be tough, like a dog raised in the pound. Or a kid raised by the State.

I put the car away, making a mental note to do some cosmetic surgery on it before this case with Flood made it too visible. Went upstairs, deactivated everything, and let myself in. Pansy gave me a halfhearted growl just to let me know she was on the job, then charged over, wagging her stump of a tail. Even without the security systems I knew there hadn’t been any visitors. Pansy was cut from the same cloth as my old Doberman, Devil, and nobody would get in here without war breaking loose.

That had happened once, and it gave Blumberg his big chance to act like a real lawyer. I was hiding a certain gentleman in my old apartment. He told me people were looking for him, but said nothing about those people wearing blue coats and badges instead of business suits. Anyway, while I was out trying to square some other beef, the cops arrived and decided to serve a Smith and Wesson warrant on my premises. They smashed in the door, and Devil met them head on.“


Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010

Uit: Our Kind of Traitor

„The stadium is erupting.

First Robin Soderling, then Roger Federer looking as becomingly modest and self-assured as only God can. Perry is craning forward, lips pressed tensely together. He’s in the presence.

Warm-up time. Federer mis-hits a couple of backhands; Soderling’s forehand returns are a little too waspish for a friendly exchange. Federer practises a couple of serves, alone. Soderling does the same, alone.

Practice over. Their jackets fall off them like sheaths from swords. In the pale blue corner, Federer, with a flash of red inside his collar and a matching red tick on his headband. In the white corner, Soderling, with phosphorescent yellow flashes on his sleeves and shorts.

Perry’s gaze strays back to the smoked windows, so Gail’s does too. Is that a cream-coloured blazer she sees with a gold anchor on the pocket, floating in the brown mist behind the glass? If ever there was a man not to get into the back of a taxi with, it’s Signor Emilio dell Oro, she wants to tell Perry.

But quiet: the match has begun and to the joy of the crowd, but too suddenly for Gail, Federer has broken Soderling’s serve and won his own. Now it’s Soderling to serve again. A pretty blonde ballgirl with a ponytail hands him a ball, drops a bob, and canters off again. The linesman howls as if he’s been stung. The rain’s coming on again.

Soderling has double-faulted; Federer’s triumphal march to victory has begun. Perry’s face is lit with simple awe and Gail discovers she is loving him all over again from scratch: his unaffected courage, his determination to do the right thing even if it’s wrong, his need to be loyal and his refusal to be sorry for himself. She’s his sister, friend, protector. A similar feeling must have overtaken Perry, for he grasps her hand and keeps it. Soderling is going for the French Open. Federer is going for history and Perry is going with him. Federer has won the first set 6-1. It took him just under half an hour.“


John le Carré (Poole, 19 oktober 1931)