The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

The novels we read allow us to encounter possible persons, versions of ourselves that we would never see, never permit ourselves to see, never permit ourselves to become, in places we can never go and might not care to, while assuring that we get to return home again.

Thomas C. Foster

Every novel is an attempt to capture time, to weave something solid out of air. The author knows it is an impossible task – that is why he keeps on trying.

David Beaty

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