Top 98 Quotes & Sayings by Chris Cleave

Explore popular quotes and sayings by a British writer Chris Cleave.
Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave is a British writer and journalist.

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Accept Acknowledge Action Adventure Affairs Agree Agreed Agreement Alive All Things Hide All Ancient Andrew Anger Animus Antithesis Apparent Armistice Assume Astonished Asylum Athlete Athletes Athletic Atom Awakening Bad Days Badly Barbed Wire Beaten Beating Beautiful Beauty Began Behalf Being A Father Being Married Biggest Birds Birmingham Blitz Blue Bomb Bombs Books Books And Movies Born Bowl Brand Brave Brave One Bravery Breath Breaths Broken Brown Brutal Built Burned Bushes Calendar Camps Capacity Cape Carries Carrying Cartoon Center Change Characters Chasing Cheese Child Children Choices Choose Churchill Cinema Claimed Close Closure Cloud Clouds Cluster Color Common Computer Conflict Conscience Constantly Convictions Convinced Cooking Country Courage Courageous Cover Covers Cowardly Cowards Crash Crisis Crops Crowd Crude Crude Oil Crush Culture Current Current Affairs Daily Daily Mail Dance Dare Date Dating Days Dead Deals Death Decisions Decisions We Make Deep Deepening Defeat Defended Defy Depend Depends Deserve Desperation Destroy Detention Determined Developed Develops Died Difference Differences Different Thing Disappears Disappointing Disproportionate Dissolution Distance Doctor Dose Drank Draw Dream Dream It Dress Dripping Drove Drug Dying Earth Earthquake Easier Easy Editorial Eighth Emphasis Ends Enemy English Entangled Entitled Entropy Event Exaggeration Examine Exceptions Expected Explain Explore Express Extreme Extremely Extremes Face Fall Fallen Families Family Family History Fascinates Fascinating Father Fault Feature Feel Fewer Fight Finally Find Fine Fingerprints Finish Finished Fire Firewood First World Flight Float Follow Food Fools Foreign Forgive Forgiveness Forgiving Form Fort Forts Fought Found Frankly Free French Full Funny Future Gasoline Generation Gift Girl Girlfriends Give Giving Golden Good Government Grandfather Grandmother Grant Green Grief Grown Habit Hand Handsome Hang Happen Happened Happily Happiness Happy Hard Harder Hate Head Headache Hear Heart Hearts Henry Her Beauty Heroes Hide High Higher History Holes Honey Honeymoon Hope Hopes Horror Horse Hour House Human Human Being Human History Human Relations Human Relationships Hunger Husband Ideal Ideal Man Imagine Impossible Impressive Individuals Inside Interested Interesting Intrigued Jingoism Journey Jungle Keyboard Killing Killing Everyone Kind Knowledge Lack Languages Last Time Laughing Laughter Lazy Leave Left Legs Lemonade Length Lens Letters Level Life Life Is Likes Limit Listening Little Girls Live Lived Lives Living Locations London Long Longer Lost Lost Child Love Loved Lovers Lunchtime Machine Machines Mail Make Make Believe Makers Makes Margin Married Marry Marvelous Mask Maternal Meal Means Memoirs Memory Middle Mind Miss Moment Monkeys Month Moon Motto Move Move On Movies Muscle Music My Grandfather My Heart My Husband My Life My Sister Naturally Next Thing Nigerian No Life Not Happy Notice Noticed Novelist Novelists Novels Ocean Olympic Olympics Optimal Orders Our Country Our World Paint Pale Parachute Parenting Paternal People People Say Person Personal Pickle Piece Pity Place Places Plane Plane Crash Planned Playing Plays Point Policy Portents Positions Practically Preserved Presumption Pretend Pretty Pride Principles Private Private Property Property Psychiatry Psychological Psychology Push Pushed Puts Quick Quicker Quiet Rarely Reached Reality Realize Reason Reason Why Rebels Recent Reconciliation Refined Refrigerator Refuge Refugee Refugees Regional Relationship Relationships Remains Remind Repeating Required Research Researching Respects Respond Result Return Reverence Rich Rich Person Rivals Roof Rude Sad Story Sad Words Same Things Sandwich Sarah Scar Scars School Seated Seconds Secret Seeker Sense Sentence Serve Serving Severe Shaking Shine Short Shortcomings Show Show People Sick Side Siege Simultaneously Sister Situation Skin Slightly Slowly Small Small Things Smile Snakes Soldiers Someday Sophisticated Soul Speak Split Spoke Spoken Spray Spray Paint Square Squeeze Stack Stand Stars Start Started Starting State Stayed Stick Stop Stories Story Storyteller Strengths Stronger Studying Stuff Suffering Summer Summers Sunshine Suppose Surface Surrounded Survive Survived Surviving Survivors Swollen Talk Talked Talking Taught Teacher Telling Tend Terrified Test Tested Thing Things Thinking Thirds This World Thorns Thought Throw Time Tiny To Survive Tongue Toothpaste Tormented Tough Tough Decisions Town Tragedy Travel Trees Trick Trouble Trucks Truth Tube Turn Twist Two Things Ugly Undefeated Understand Understood Unexpectedly Unfair Unique Veterans Victoria Victorian Victory Villa Violence Waiting Walls Wanted Warm Wars Washing Washing Machine Watching Ways Wealthy Weather Weight Whispering White Whole Life Winds Wire Without Hope Woman Words Work Works World Wounded Wreckage Write Writer Writing WWII Years Young Your Face Less More Hide All See All
The reason why I love people, and writing about them, is because they don't always respond with hate and anger. If they did I wouldn't have a story to tell. Who wants to know about someone who was brutalised and became brutal? I'm interested in the exceptions.
There's what people say, and there's what people mean, and I like to explore the difference between the two.
I'm always determined that as a novelist I'm going to go out there and research my characters very thoroughly before I start writing. — © Chris Cleave
I'm always determined that as a novelist I'm going to go out there and research my characters very thoroughly before I start writing.
It's extremely hard for athletes to accept what's happened to them sometimes. It's hard to be beaten by a small margin, and I've spoken with athletes who, for years afterward, have been tormented by the knowledge that, had they done something ever so slightly different, they could have been one-ten-thousandth of a second quicker.
My whole life is my work.
This thing with being lovers, it isn't like being married.
The Daily Mail can't say 'asylum-seeker' without saying 'foreign criminal' in the same sentence. I'm sure it's practically editorial policy.
I think, in common with a lot of novelists, I wasn't the most athletic guy at school.
If I can't write it would be as if I died.
Studying psychology is fun because you're always looking for the same things I think a writer should be looking for, which is the story behind the story.
I think that the relationship between two top-level athletes who are rivals is one of the most fascinating human relationships to explore. It's always one atom away from being a tragedy.
I'm not happy with just repeating myself.
I'm really interested in people's decisions.
I like to push characters to extremes so they have to make really tough decisions and there is no life more extreme than that of an athlete. — © Chris Cleave
I like to push characters to extremes so they have to make really tough decisions and there is no life more extreme than that of an athlete.
I think that there's something extremely beautiful about the Olympic ideal and its motto - 'Swifter, higher, stronger' - it's such a beautiful motto, and it celebrates everything which is the antithesis of death and dissolution and entropy.
I'm a much better writer for being a father.
I think the recent cluster of WWII novels is so good because we have reached an optimal distance from the war. Just as a lens has its focal length, the novel also has its best distance from the action.
We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us.
When I reached Fort Binjemma, for example, where my grandfather was stationed for a while, the whole Victorian fort was decaying. Barbed wire surrounded it, spray paint on the ancient walls claimed it as private property, and the moat where my grandfather and his men had grown crops - in desperation as the siege's hunger bit - was completely overgrown with bushes and trees.
If your face is swollen from the severe beatings of life, smile and pretend to be a fat man.
I think bravery means a different thing to everyone.
At some point you just have to turn around and face your life head on.
Still shaking, in the pew, I understood that it isn't the dead we cry for. We cry for ourselves, and I didn't deserve my own pity.
It was the month of May and there was warm sunshine dripping through the holes between the clouds, like the sky was a broken blue bowl and a child was trying to keep honey in it.
In a few breaths' time I will speak some sad words to you. But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty.
Psychiatry in this place is like serving an in-flight meal in the middle of a plane crash. If I wanted to make you well, as a doctor, I should be giving you a parachute, not a cheese-and-pickle sandwich.
I was carrying two cargoes. Yes, one of them was horror, but the other one was hope.
A scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.
This is the forked tongue of grief again. It whispers in one ear: return to what you once loved best, and in the other ear it whispers, move on.
Everyone carries the weight of WWII with them in their recent family history, and yet it is rarely spoken about within families, because veterans and survivors don't tend to talk.
WWII was, without exaggeration, the biggest event in all of human history, and it is still within living memory.
The only bad days as a writer are the ones when you are too cowardly or too lazy to sit down at the keyboard and give it everything you have.
your culture has become sophisticated, like a computer, or a drug that you take for a headache. You can use it, but you cannot explain how it works. Certainly not to girls who stack up their firewood against the side of the house.
I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us.
Looking after a very sick child was the Olympics of parenting.
I was astonished to find that the positions my grandfather had defended were now overgrown and entangled with trees and thorns. I suppose I had developed a sense of reverence for the locations he described in his memoirs and letters - the forts and the high emplacements. I had expected them to have been preserved in some way.
A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.
You travel here and you travel there, trying to get out from under the cloud, and nothing works, and then one day you realize you've been carrying the weather around with you.
We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, 'I survived'. — © Chris Cleave
We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, 'I survived'.
My paternal grandmother drove ambulances during the regional Blitz, in Birmingham.
Horror in your country is something you take a dose of to remind yourself that you are not suffering from it.
You may think that's funny Osama but you never can squeeze every last bit of pride out of a human being. It's like a tube of toothpaste. You can twist it and you can crush it but there's always a tiny bit left isn't there?
We're often told that we live in a globalized world, and we talk about it all the time, but people don't stop to think about what it means.
The ways in which we are able to express courage also depend on the hand life deals us.
What is an adventure? That depends on where you are starting from. Little girls in your country, they hide in the gap between the washing machine and the refrigerator and they make believe they are in the jungle, with green snakes and monkeys all around them. Me and my sister, we used to hide in a gap in the jungle, with green snakes and monkeys all around us, and make believe that we had a washing machine and a refrigerator. You live in a world of machines and you dream off things with beating hearts. We dream of machines, because we see where beating hearts have left us.
Is it my fault if I do not look like an English girl and I do not talk like a Nigerian? Well, who says an English girl must have skin as pale as the clouds that float across her summers? Who says a Nigerian girl must speak in fallen English...?
We leave it up to books and movies to talk about WWII on our behalf.
Nobody has the time to sit down and explain the first world from first principles.
I do think it is harder to acknowledge our strengths, or to forgive ourselves and each other for our shortcomings, when there has not been a result we can all agree on. And it is certainly impossible to imagine forgiving the enemy while their animus remains undefeated. Yet war doesn't end with armistice, it only ends with forgiveness and reconciliation.
So when I say that I am a refugee, you must understand that there is no refuge. — © Chris Cleave
So when I say that I am a refugee, you must understand that there is no refuge.
Sometimes we don't notice that someone is being brave, because they are only doing something that seems quite easy for us.
It was hard not to be full of hope
Even for a girl like me, then, there comes a day when she can stop surviving and start living. To survive, you have to look good or talk good. But to end your story well-- here is the truth-- you have to talk yourself out of it.
Life is extremely short and you cannot dance to current affairs.
Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive
I wanted to look at the differences between how we fought then and how we fight now, because the current lack of closure generates a state of psychological unease that is interesting to acknowledge and examine.
We must constantly dare ourselves in the small things, until courage becomes a habit of mind that will serve us when we are unexpectedly tested.
On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.
There was no quick grief for Andrew because he had been so slowly lost. First from my heart, then from my mind, and only finally from my life.
Our stories are the tellers of us.
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