Once upon a time, before I’d ever been published, I read a column in Vogue magazine that galvanized me as a writer. I was then 22, newly emerged from an adolescence that this article nailed.
In some ways, Kavanaugh’s testimony was like every writer’s Shitty First Draft: there was true meaning buried in that mess, but it had yet to be exhumed. The advice I give to students who are struggling with their own first drafts is to Interrogate the Weird. That’s because weirdness usually signals something that deserves to be unpacked.
There was plenty of Weird in Kavanaugh’s testimony.
Because Yearning and Dread is the theme of our upcoming Goddard residency, I’ve been thinking lately about the role these emotions play in my own writing, and as I look back over my fiction, particularly my novels, it seems pretty clear that the yearning and dread that fuel my work revolve around my parents.