Quotes
Serious Quotes
On page 253-254, Li gently forces Macy and Donovan to talk to each other about their divorce by leaving the table after a deep conversation about how they need to talk. He tells them this:
"'So here you both are, with things left unsaid and things left undone. But it's not too late for you; the door is still open. So I'm here to plead with you both--talk with one another, say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done before it is too late. Please believe me--no matter how painful it may be, if you leave things undone, your regrets will be far more painful later.' Li got up from his seat. 'Where are you going?' Donovan asked. 'I'm going home--to your home, that is.' 'But I'm your ride.' 'I've decided to take a taxi. I need to get my heart rate up after this heavy meal.' 'Li--we can't just start talking.' 'That's exactly what you can do--start talking. You don't have to finish, but you can at least start.' 'It's not that easy,' Macy said. 'Did I say it was easy? Forgive me; I meant to say it was simple. The two of you need to talk. It may not be easy, but it is that simple.' And with that, he turned and left the restaurant. Macy and Donovan stared after him until it became painfully clear that he would not return. Then they slowly turned and look at each other. When their eyes met, it was like crossing two live wires. They looked away again.'"

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In PlagueMaker, forgiveness is the ultimate theme
On page 389-390, Donovan and Macy talk again on a small boat, with Macy possibly infected. For the rest of the quote, go to Theme.
"Donovan stared down at the bottles for a long time. When he finally looked up at Macy again, he said quietly, 'I was afraid.' 'What?' 'That's why I wasn't there when Jeremy died--I was afraid.' She waited for him to continue. 'I wanted to be there,' he said. 'I know you don't believe me, but it's true.' 'Then why weren't you?' 'I just couldn't bear it. I couldn't stand to watch him suffer and not be able to help.' 'I couldn't bear it either,' she said, 'but I didn't have much choice.' 'I know--and I'm sorry--and I'll be ashamed of that for the rest of my life.' 'Where were you, Nathan? Where did you go?' 'I was working double shifts. I was responding to every late-night call; I was volunteering for every high-risk activity I could find. I was crazy--I was out of my mind. I was picking fights, I was taking stupid risks. I think I was trying to experience all the pain I could--I was trying to absorb it, to draw it all away from him. Does that sound nuts?' 'Yes--but very human.' He shook his head. 'I've never been afraid of anything in my life--but that's because there was always something I could do. This time, there was nothing--and I was afraid that I just wouldn't have the strength to stand there and watch him die.'"

Humorous QuotesOn page 245, Donovan and Macy are talking to two men about an assessment on the fleas of TriBeCa and the possibility of a biological disease such us the black plague. The one man, Dave, is making eyes at Macy and is showing much admiration toward her, to Donovan's irritation. Macy ends the meeting like this:
"'Now here's what I'd like you to do, Dave. I want you to go back to that threat assessment you wrote, and I want you to look for every recommendation or evaluation you offered outside your area of expertise, and I want you to remove them all. I want you to rewrite that assessment, Dave, because you write these estimates for policy makers--for people who have the power to act and to allocate resources. This is an important one, Dave, and I don't want the National Security Council to ignore this because of some casual remark you made as a nonscientist. Okay?' Dave blinked twice. 'Okay.' 'Fine. Are we done here? Thank you for your time, gentlemen.' Macy closed the binder, rose, and headed for the door. All three men watched until the door closed behind her. Donovan turned and smiled at Dave. 'Still want to go out with her?'"
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On pages 251-252, Donovan, Macy, and Li are out to eat and Donovan comments on Li's mannerisms. This then leads onto a deeper conversation, but this quote shows Li's dry humor and some wisdom on dining.
"Donovan watched as Li took a single french fry and placed it in his mouth. He held it by the very tip and put it all the way in until his fingers touched his lips, then pulled it out again. He repeated the process over and over until he had licked off the last trace of salt. 'This is obscene,' Donovan said. 'Didn't anyone ever teach you how to eat french fries?' 'Be my guest,' Li said, gesturing to the red carton. Donovan ripped open two ketchup packets and squeezed them out on a napkin. Then he took half a dozen french fries, folded them in half, wiped up a gob of ketchup, and stuffed the handful into his mouth. Li turned to Macy. 'How can he be a barbarian even when he eats french fries?' 'You should see him with soup,' Macy said. Donovan wiped his hands on his trousers. 'I'd rather be a barbarian than a sissy,' he said. 'Who eats fries one at a time?' 'I do,' Li said coolly. 'I consider them a delicacy--one of the few accomplishments of American cuisine.' They watched while Li slowly savored several more. 'It's called fast food,' Donovan grumbled. 'Fast food for obsessive people,' Li replied. 'Dining should be a break from the hurried pace of life. All other cultures seem to understand this; I'm not sure why you Americans are so slow to catch on. Dining should be a time to relax. Dining should be a time for conversation.'"

Other Quotes
On page 53, an interesting description of New York is given to introduce the setting, Chinatown.
"New York has been the most ethnically diverse city in the world since the 1600s, when barely a thousand residents already spoke fifteen different languages. Some think of the city as a tapestry, with hundreds of bright-colored threads woven tightly together in a seamless social fabric. In reality, New York is more like a mosaic, with hundreds of glittering tiles precariously held together by some invisible cement. On the Lower East Side of Manhattan lies the most enigmatic piece of this puzzle, a two-square mile section of decaying tenements known as Chinatown."

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Example of a mosaic
On page 177-178, Donovan is roaming the streets of New York once again because of a nightmare that woke him up at four in the morning. He makes several observations and show surprising insight:
"The streets were almost empty at four o'clock; they always were. You learn a lot when you don't waste time sleeping, Donovan thought, things that other people never know. You learn that every city has a cycle of life and death that repeats itself day after day. In the morning the city is an infant, full of hope and limitless possibilities. By afternoon it's already fully grown, burdened with the endless responsibilities of life. The evening is the city's golden years, those pitifully few remaining hours that only a handful are allowed to enjoy. Then at midnight the clock silently strikes, and old age falls like a heavy curtain. The next two hours are a kind of death kick, when the feeble and dying frantically try to strengthen their grip on life. Two o'clock is a kind of funeral, when coffin doors are shut tight and lights are put out, and for the next three hours the city lies smoldering in its grave, awaiting its daily resurrection. Donovan looked at his watch. Just my luck, he thought, to be alive when everyone else is dead and dead when everyone else is alive."