Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why We Write. What We Read.

This is the third day in a row that I've read something online that sends me directly to Roxane Gay's blog. The world wide web wants me to know what is in this brilliant woman's head, that's clear. This is a post on the pages of Best American Short Stories being dominated by stories about rich white people's problems -- and what's clearly absent.

Today, it was Tayari Jones blog post that sent me to Roxane Gay. Jones' blog is a letter to a woman who works in a coffee shop in Newark, New Jersey, a real reader, a kindred spirit for Jones. What I love is that this is the reader Jones wants, not one of the imagination, not the trap of a NYTimes critic's nod (not that I'm sure Jones doesn't mind a NYTimes shout), but this one.

Both of these posts touch on race, gender, why we write, why we read. Do we all have a profound desire to find ourselves in books or the world through another's eyes -- or a blur of the two?

So both of these writers have sent me to one book: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans.

In addition to the holiday gifts I'm buying for all my peeps today -- zombie gear, fake dog poo, pillows in the shapes of birds, paint-it-yourself wooden dolls -- I'm buying this for myself.