“The smoked fish counter has a long and glorious tradition in New York.” Ed Levine, New York Eats.

“I had a lot of jobs in Los Angeles Harbor because our family was poor and my father was dead.” John Fante, The Road to Los Angeles.

“American criminal justice today is premised on controlling African American men.” Paul Butler, Chokehold: [Policing Black Men].

“The prisoner will stand.” Horace McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

“As I waited in the drowsy neon-lit customs line at JFK, I tried to remember precisely when the war on drugs started.” Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

“I first met him in Piraeus.” Nikos Kazantakis, Zorba the Greek.

“Two centuries ago, Napoleon warned, ‘Let China sleep; when she awakes, she will shake the world.’” Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

“He speaks in your voice, American, and there’s a shine in his eye that’s halfway hopeful.” Don DeLillo, Underworld.

“Victoria and Tennie’s father, Reuben Buck Claflin, was a one-eyed snake oil salesman who posed as a doctor and a lawyer.” Myra MacPherson, The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age.

“I had just begun to peel the potatoes for dinner when my oldest sister Bessie came in, her eyes far away and very tired.” Anzi Yezierska, Bread Givers.

“All of us in the public defender’s office feared the Martin Luther King speech.” James Forman, Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

Devils, Ahmad thinks.” John Updike, Terrorist.

“The first historical fact that I remember learning as child was the place that I called home was once an independent nation.” James E. Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution.

“This was back when I was frittering away my Venezuelan inheritance.” Patrick Modiano, La Place de l’Étoile.

“My experience of Jesus begins with my father.” Richard W. Fox, Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession.

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