This is not exactly a story or even a longform essay. But, I am still very proud of having The Atlantic feature my thoughts on the book/passage that had a life-changing effect on me.
I have written about Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ before. It continues to be my guiding beacon in every major life decision. Continue reading Published: Your Most Formative Literary Passages (The Atlantic)
Silence alone is worthy to be heard. Silence is of various depth and fertility, like soil. Now, it is a mere Sahara, where men perish of hunger and thirst, now a fertile bottom, or prairie, of the West. Continue reading Weekend Poem: Silence by Henry David Thoreau
D. The Catch-all Bibliomemoir: This is the all-inclusive kind where the author relates his/her life and the books that influenced it, but, not necessarily with any particular purpose other than to relate a coming-of-age, personal journey or retrospective. On the one hand, these books don’t aim to inform or educate necessarily. Rather, they focus on giving a first-hand witness account. On the other, more often than not, these veer into over-sharing or full-on confessional mode — for which, of course, there is a healthy market. Continue reading The Books We Read, The Lives We Lead (Bibliomemoirs, Part 5)
C. The Re-purposed Essay Collection as Bibliomemoir: These are previously-published essays, lectures, reflections or anthologies edited and packaged together as a new book. Mostly, they are like collectibles for loyal, long-time readers as well as an attempt to reach a newer audience through some clever re-packaging and re-positioning. And, often, these will appeal to those bibliophiles who are not too fond of the overly-confessional memoir or the misery memoir. Continue reading The Books We Read, The Lives We Lead (Bibliomemoirs, Part 4)
Author, Mavis Gallant, passed away at age 91 yesterday. Born in Canada, she decided, very early on, that she wanted to do two things: live in Paris and earn a living from writing. She managed both of those in trailblazing ways and in the face of many obstacles for a woman of her time. Her stories are sharply-observant, unsentimental and, definitely, ahead of her times. She had inspired many writers, particularly those who have also focused on themes of displacement, like Michael Ondaatje and Jhumpa Lahiri. Gallant’s death is a great loss to the literary world, even though she was rather under-appreciated by the wider reading public throughout most of her life. Continue reading Mavis Gallant (RIP): Author, Storyteller, Trailblazer