Regarding the question of favorite quotes from contemporary fiction
, here's a bit from Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist
You are standing on a train platform. A fear of missing the train, a slavery to time, has provided ten minutes before the train leaves. There is so much you have never said to your companion and so little time to articulate it. The years have accreted around the simple words and there would have been ample time to speak them had not the years intervened and secreted them. The conductor paces up and down the platform and wonders why you do not speak. You are a blight on his platform and timetable. Speak, find the words, the train is warming towards departure.Apex Hides the Hurt
is next on my list.