I was asked to respond to a writer interview question by the website Howlarium for their weekly blog post. Click here to read my and others’ responses.
The full text of my response can be viewed below.
“10 Writers Share Their Most Powerful Reading Experiences”
I was 16 years old when my favorite high school English teacher assigned us a book of her choosing. The title didn’t immediately capture me, but I trusted her judgement; she was often giving me book recommendations outside of class and had a tender heart for beautiful language. Words cannot efficiently describe how quickly I enveloped, swallowed, devoured the novel. I read it in between classes, late at night. The beauty of the storytelling left a deep impression on me as a writer, as a piece of writing to look up to and strive for. More than that, it was a story about the intersection of love and loss, how connectedness is such an essential component of being human.
At the time, I dealt with typical, high school dilemmas of unrequited loves, fights with friends, misunderstandings with parents, the stress of grades, etc. I also worried about my great aunt, who was almost like another grandmother to me, who suffered a stroke and lost function in the right part of her body. I saw her at least once a week and always left feeling heavy and distressed. It always felt like she had more to say that she couldn’t remember or couldn’t make out, and I always tried to fill the silence with my own words. This book came just in time. Amidst my confusion and worry, it brought me melancholy understanding of how I connected with others: my great aunt, friends, parents. It changed the way I viewed my relationships and breathed a fresh creative style to my own storytelling/writing.
The book was: History of Love by Nicole Krauss.