Markus Zusak QuotesMarkus Frank Zusak is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger (US title, I Am the Messenger), two novels for young adults which became international bestsellers. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014 for his contributions to young-adult literature published in the United States.
I carried Rudy softly through the broken street…with him I tried a little harder at comforting. I watched the contents of his soul for a moment and saw a black-painted boy calling the name Jesse Owens as he ran through an imaginary tape. I saw him hip-deep in some icy water, chasing a book, and I saw a boy lying in bed, imagining how a kiss would taste from his glorious next-door neighbor. He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
When I recollect her, I see a long list of colors, but it’s the three in which I saw her in the flesh that resonate the most. Sometimes I manage to float far above those three moments. I hang suspended, until a septic truth bleeds toward clarity. That’s when I see them formulate: THE COLORS RED: [rectangle] WHITE: [circle] BLACK: [swastika] They fall on top of each other. The scribbled signature black, onto the blinding global white, onto the thick soupy red.
She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Leisel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist’s suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers…She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on.
We underestimate teenagers at our peril. Even the dismissive thing out on the street–look at what they’re wearing. Then we’ll hear stories about how a toddler fell on the tracks, and it’s often a teenager who comes to the rescue and walks away because he or she doesn’t want any credit. I recognize it because I’ve written books for teenagers–it’s basically that they feel things more than adults do. They want things more than you think. They want things with greater depth than you think they do. Teenagers have got a lot of soul that adults have forgotten they have within themselves.