Karen Abbott Quotes

  • I don't consider 'American Rose' to be a biography so much as a microcosm of 20th-century America, told through Gypsy's tumultuous life - it's 'Horatio Alger meets Tim Burton.'
  • Vaudeville was characterized by sunny optimism, acts that were uplifting, cheerful, and clean. It provided a fanciful, magical escape, but after Black Friday, the tone of American entertainment changed almost overnight.
  • In the beginning of the war, Southern women wanted their men to leave - in droves, and as quickly as possible. They were the Confederate Army's most persuasive and effective recruitment officers, shaming anyone who shirked his duty to fight.
  • I wasn't really a dark kid, but I was in my head a lot. I got good grades all through my 16 years of Catholic school, but I was always writing these weird - and, I have to say, really bad - stories, filled with murder.
  • I think the most important thing journalism taught me is to mine for details. The details are key. You can't try to be funny or strange or poignant; you have to let the details be funny or strange or poignant for you.
  • By 1865, all Southern women - the happily and regrettably single, the perpetually engaged, the wives and widows - had tired of the war. The Confederacy was shrinking, and the morale of its remaining men shrinking with it.
  • In the sudden absence of husbands, fathers, brothers and beaus, white Southern women discovered a newfound freedom - one that simultaneously granted them more power in relationships and increased their likelihood of heartbreak.
  • In 2001, I moved from Philly to Atlanta, where I lived for six years. I had never lived anywhere but Philly, and you can imagine the culture shock; the Civil War seeps into daily life and conversation down South in a way it never does up North.
  • Before the Great Chicago Fire, no one took notice of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, two Irish immigrants who lived with their five children on the city's West Side.
  • America's first Olympics may have been its worst, or at least its most bizarre.
  • As a kid, I liked to write, but I didn't think that was a viable career choice. My dream, actually, was to be a white girl rapper and join Salt-N-Pepa - which obviously was a much more viable career choice.
  • Female spies typically represented one of two extremes: the seductress who employed her wiles to manipulate men, and the cross-dresser who blended in by impersonating them.