Katherine Dunn

American novelist, journalist, poet

Katherine Dunn (October 24, 1945 – May 11, 2016) was a best-selling novelist, journalist, voice artist, radio personality, book reviewer, and poet.


  • The whiskey is amazing to me. I wonder why I never realized that I would like it. I wonder why I never tried it before. Liking it so much is dangerous now, and so I hold it and look through it, and drink it very slowly.
  • I had maggot brains that night and may have imagined half of it, and misunderstood the rest.
  • She blurbed through her Moms-All-Purpose-Adjustable-List-Of-Horrors that might have happened whenever a child is out of sight.
  • 'Show off' was no insult in our family, but Arty had a way of turning 'sweetheart' into a thumb in the eye.
  • Papa had looked bad last time. This time he looked like Death's rectum.
  • She is suspicious and fearless and her progress is alarming.
  • It may be that the impressions of her infancy are caught somehow in the pulp of her eyes, luring her. Or there may be some hooked structure in her cells that twist her toward all that the world calls freakish.
  • And they looked at her, watched her, wanted to squirt her full of baby juice.
  • I wanted to cry, loud and wet with the pain of love.
  • The molasses voice pours into the sponge ear of the microphone and is transformed into silent, pulsing waves that radiate over a hundred miles.
  • Can you be happy with the movies, and the ads, and the clothes in the stores, and the doctors, and the eyes as you walk down the street all telling you there is something wrong with you? No. You cannot be happy. Because, you poor darling baby, you believe them.
  • There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behavior and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity. These are frequently artists and performers, adventurers and wide-life devotees.
    Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull.
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