"On Friday, 12th June, I woke up at six o' clock and no wonder; it was my birthday"
"At the age of fifteen my grandmother became the concubine of a warlord general, the police chief of a tenuous national government of China."
"My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born."
"Brenda was six when she fell out of the apple tree."
"Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, "We met because of a beheading, of all things.""
"You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and to your wisdom there is no limit.You are great, O Lord, and very worthy of praise; mighty is your power and your wisdom..."
"As a boy, I never knew where my mother was from -- where she was born, who her parents were."
"When the Great War broke out, it came to me not as a superlative tragedy, but as an interruption of the most exasperating kind to my personal plans."
"My first sight of England was on a foggy March night in 1973 when I arrived on the midnight ferry from Calais."