A Thousand words for Stranger

A thousand wordsI once bought a book and read it because I liked the title so much – A Thousand Words for Stranger.

I wanted to know what the story was about. It was a great “read” and if you’re an avid science fiction fan, I encourage you to give this book a try. (It is not light reading but the book is filled with rich imagery, fantasy and an extremely entertaining story.)

The author, Julie E. Czerneda, formerly a biologist, has authored numerous science fiction books, also a number of educational books about career guidance, and the teaching of science (which she used to do). I’ve read many of her books since this one and enjoyed them all.


But the title!


I never got over the title. It was so “Lonely” sounding and yet fascinating at the same time.

When you think about the word “Stranger” what comes to mind? What if you’re the stranger?

Why is the word itself so compelling?

Some quotes to think on:

“. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?
“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón


“Marius and Cosette were in the dark in regard to each other. They did not speak, they did not bow, they were not acquainted; they saw each other; and, like the stars in the sky separated by millions of leagues, they lived by gazing upon each other.”
― Victor HugoLes Misérables


“In this world of memories, there’s no need for strangers.
-Kenshin to Kaoru”
― Watsuki Nobuhiro


“Spend twenty years there and you ask yourself how there can still be strangers with so many familiar faces … it’s probably that cities generate strangers continuously …”
― Frederik PeetersBlue Pills: A Positive Love Story


“It seems the older we get, the tighter our inner circle becomes. When life has you down, some of those you thought had your back run, others…sometimes strangers surprise you and fill that empty space up. Oh, but life has a great balancing act and when that axle turns and you are right side up again…you will definitely not be looking for any long, lost “friends” because your inner circle is battle-tested to win!”
― Sanjo Jendayi


And one final one – a favorite because I think there is a truth in this one that we all shy away from and yet know is indeed how it is!

“So, wonder! I also wonder about you,” said Cadfael mildly. “Do you know any human creatures who are not strangers, one to another?”
― Ellis PetersOne Corpse Too Many

*Consider this post a “food for thought” post, as for me, “The only friends I don’t have are the strangers I haven’t met yet!” … at least I wish it were this way!

Thanks for the visit. I hope your first week of the New Year is being a good one for you,

~ Penny


16 thoughts on “A Thousand words for Stranger

  1. I shall seek this out, have you read The Stranger or The Outsider as it is also known? It’s a good if short existential read. The problem with compelling book titles is that there are so many, compared to my ready cash, I rely on you to point out the good ones as i know you will. Your opinion is better than any bunch of critics i may care to read.

  2. Penny, it is seldom that I write as the man behind AnElephant, but this post moved me.
    As you are aware, I am sure, I am currently a Stranger in a Strange Land, albeit a very welcoming one.
    One of my favourite books is L’Etranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus.
    Leonard Cohen, poet extraordinaire, says ‘I told you when I came I was a stranger’.
    It is a recurring theme in literature and poetry and, as one who went to school in 3 countries and 2 languages, I am very conscious of the difficulties inherent in the situation and, back in October, wrote one of my rare serious pieces on this very subject.
    I understand very well the ‘Lonely’ feeling you describe in the title and love the fact that, as always, you find very valid quotes to support a positive view of human differences.
    Thank you.
    And sorry for being so verbose.

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