Priya Parmar Quotes
“The rest of us are still living on the borrowed fuel of potential and so far have not left deep footprints. But together we carry a brackish air of importance. As if we are doing something worthy in the world. Maybe how we live our lives is the grand experiment? Mixing company, throwing out customs, using first names, waiting to marry, ignoring the rules, and choosing what to care about. Is that why we matter? Or perhaps Miss Warre-Cornish is right and we do not matter in the least.”
“How I should have raised all her terrible destruction to the surface like a shipwrecked boat dredged up from the sea floor. But that would have given the fracture a shape, a dimension--a definite perimeter to the ruin. This way has a subtle cruelty. This way will torment. She will spend years trying to map the rift she caused and sound the damage. She will push on the bruise and grow frantic trying to repair the creeping remoteness. It is the unkindest thing I have ever done. And I will not relent. I will not do otherwise.”
“I have the loose-ended feeling of looking, looking. What am I looking for? Looking for substance, looking for a moment I do not understand. Is that just how this part of life is? Do we ever have the sensation of finding, of arriving? I worry that life is always in the future and I am always here, in the preamble, straightening up the cushions so that life will go smoothly once it does begin.”
“My rules are simple and clear. We must dispense with insincere politeness- that vapid veneer of untruth that smothers London drawing rooms. Our well-mannered social deceit must not die a private death but a court-ordered hanging in the public square. The archaic animal that is left will be a dangerous and hot-blooded thing. Unruly and impossible to predict. But alive.”
“Because whiteness is so often treated as invisible, as if only non-Whites are racially and ethnically positioned, White teachers often are particularly afraid to name their own positionality. Identity, including whiteness, is not absolute or fixed; rather, identity is always changing and evolving. Yet we contend that the denial of the existence of the educator’s own positionality creates more barriers and a lack of trust, especially when students are asked so often to name theirs. When an educator’s whiteness is unnamed, it remains in a dominant position, reinforcing that it is the noncolor color by which all other colors are measured.”
- Description: Educated at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh, Priya Parmar is the author of one previous novel, Exit the Actress.
Her new novel, VANESSA AND HER SISTER, published by Ballantine/Random House is available now.
She divides her time between Hawaii and London.