Mar 08, 2021

49 Quotes from An American Marriage book by Tayari Jones

Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the book - An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward - with hope and pain - into the future.

Quotes

Home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

If you’re going to be black and struggling, the United States is probably the best place to do it. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

Nobody can really satisfy their mama when it comes to the ladies. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

If you have a woman, you recognize when you have said the wrong thing. Somehow she rearranges the ions in the air and you can’t breathe as well. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

This is how it is when you really have a baby. You ’ve your own angel. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

The way to make a bad matter worse with a southern woman is to refuse her food. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

I liked being stronger than she was, the way I could literally sweep her off her feet. She wouldn’t tell me either, but I know that she appreciated it, too. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

It was a wonderful feeling to be grown and yet young. To be married but not settled. To be tied down yet free. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

Memory is a queer creature, an eccentric curator. - An American Marriage, Chapter 1

A million dollars doesn’t make you rich-rich. Real rich people don’t have to earn their money. - An American Marriage, Chapter 2

Love is the enemy of sound judgment, and occasionally this is in service of the good. - An American Marriage, Chapter 2

Sometimes when you like where you end up, you don’t care how you got there. - An American Marriage, Chapter 2

Maybe that’s what innocence is, having no way to predict the pain of the future. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

When something happens that eclipses the imaginable, it changes a person. It’s like the difference between a raw egg and a scrambled egg. It’s the same thing, but it’s not the same at all. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

Love makes a place in your life, it makes a place for itself in your bed. Invisibly, it makes a place in your body, rerouting all your blood vessels, throbbing right alongside your heart. When it’s gone, nothing is whole again. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

You don’t know how demoralizing it is to be a man with nothing to offer a woman. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

I hate using that word, career. It always feels like the word bitch is hiding out between the letters. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

When a woman tells you she is having your baby, your first mind is to get the hell out. It’s like if the house is on fire. You don’t think to escape, you just do. It’s human nature because you know she is asking you for your whole life. And a man don’t have but one life. - An American Marriage, Chapter 3

You got to work with the god you were given. You also have to work with the love you are given, with all of the complications clanging behind it like tin cans tied to a bridal sedan. - An American Marriage, Chapter 4

What’s for you is for you. Extend your hand and claim your blessing. - An American Marriage, Chapter 4

When a woman shuts you out, picking the lock won’t let you back in. - An American Marriage, Chapter 4

You can never know another person’s mind; this is one thing I have learned. - An American Marriage, Chapter 4

Marriage is like grafting a limb onto a tree trunk. You have the limb, freshly sliced, dripping sap, and smelling of springtime, and then you have the mother tree stripped of her protective bark, gouged and ready to receive this new addition. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

Three takes you from being a couple to being a family, upping the consequences for walking away, upping the pleasure quotient for staying home. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

It’s the magician’s manual that shows you how the tricks are done, not with sorcery but with careful cues and mysterious devices. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

I never imagined myself to be the kind of woman who would find herself with both a husband and a fiancé. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

I respect his ambition; I had mine. But you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with a man who has something to prove. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

There should be a word for this, the way it feels to steal something that’s already yours. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

There was comfort in the truth, no matter how difficult. - An American Marriage, Chapter 5

Well, somebody in your situation needs to look at life like a newborn baby. Pretend like you have never been in the world before and you’re waiting for it to show you what’s what. Keep your head in the right now. - An American Marriage, Chapter 6

Innocent or not, prison changes you, makes you into a convict. - An American Marriage, Chapter 6

Much of life is timing and circumstance, I see that now. - An American Marriage, Chapter 7

Human emotion is beyond comprehension, smooth and uninterrupted, like an orb made of blown glass. - An American Marriage, Chapter 7

You don’t know what you need until somebody gives it to you exactly the way you need it gave. - An American Marriage, Chapter 10

Somewhere it is written that your sins fall on your parents, mostly on your mother, until you’re twelve years old. After that, your trespasses are on your own scorecard. - An American Marriage, Chapter 11

We have no secrets from God. He knows our feelings because He made them. When you confess your sins, He will bless you for your courage. He will bless you for your humility. - An American Marriage, Chapter 11

There are too many loose ends in the world in need of knots. You can’t attend to all of them, but you have to try. - An American Marriage, Chapter 12

A man who is a father to a daughter is different from one who is a father to a son. One is the left shoe and the other is the right. They are the same but not interchangeable. - An American Marriage, Chapter 13

No man likes the rusty-butt who is laying up next to his daughter. - An American Marriage, Chapter 13

I don’t believe that blood makes a family; kin is the circle you create, hands held tight. - An American Marriage, Chapter 13

Tell the truth. Don’t try to cushion the blow. If you’re bad enough to do it, you’re bad enough to tell it. - An American Marriage, Chapter 13

That’s your fate as a black man. Carried by six or judged by twelve. - An American Marriage, Chapter 14

Even a dog can make a bunch of puppies, but a real man raises his kids. - An American Marriage, Chapter 14

Sometimes the only thing that can cure a man is the inside of a woman, the right woman who does things the right way. - An American Marriage, Chapter 14

There should be a word, I thought, for this experience when you’re surprised but at the same time the moment feels completely inevitable. - An American Marriage, Chapter 20

A woman doesn’t always have a choice, not in a meaningful way. Sometimes there is a debt that must be paid, a comfort that she is obliged to provide, a safe passage that must be secured. Every one of us has lain down for a reason that was not love. - An American Marriage, Chapter 22

Maybe that’s what it means to be in love, to willingly be at the mercy of another person. - An American Marriage, Chapter 22

You can never really unlove somebody. Maybe it changes shape, but it’s there. - An American Marriage, Chapter 28