So then I started thinking back: Well, if she’s not a painter, maybe she wasn’t a writer, either, or an actress, either – and look, I know this may sound harsh, Mike, but there’s an awful lot of women running around trying things. Oh, you’ll find men doing it, too, but the men seem to have a few more options in their lives, or else they’re not all that dead-serious to begin with. It’s the women who can break your heart. And I mean they’re mostly good, bright, admirable girls – you can’t dismiss them as ‘silly’ or anything – and they keep on trying and trying until their brains get scrambled, or until they’re so tired they’re ready to drop. Sometimes you want to put your arms around a woman like that and say ‘Hey, listen, dear; take it easy, okay? What’s the big deal? Nobody ever said you had to do this.’ Ah, well, hell; that’s not exactly what I meant to say, but it’s close.
Richard Yates - Young Hearts Crying (1984)
I’ve been reading a lot of Richard Yates lately and I’m always amazed at how he can write in a way that makes you hate and love a character simultaneously.
Also, all the female characters are strong but flawed and all the men are weak and cowardly – it’s fascinating.