things I’ve written
writing I admire
- Abigail Thomas‘s memoirs. Safekeeping: Some True Stories From a Life is one of my touchstones, the first memoir that made me think, ‘This makes complete sense and none, and I want to do that.’ She writes in brief chapters, some only a paragraph or two, and switches between first, second, and third person, perhaps choosing an emotional truth over the most logical structure. Her subsequent memoirs, A Three Dog Life and What Comes Next and How to Like It, are not as experimental in form but still gorgeous. My answer to the question of which of the three is my favorite changes depending on the day.
- Ayse Papatya Bucak‘s short nonfiction. I had admired her work in the past, namely “I Cannot Explain My Fear” and “An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work,” and then had the honor of publishing “I Cannot Explain My Heart” during my time as nonfiction editor at Hot Metal Bridge.
- Mallory Ortberg‘s “Everything That’s Wrong of Raccoons.” There are many pieces of writing that I adore but few that make me truly envious because I didn’t write it. This is one of the few. It makes complete emotional sense while the words, at times, are nonsense. I want to do that.
quotes I love
- “We all want to get inside ourselves, split the nut that is the head of someone else. That’s what sentences are for.”