My column Required Reading will uncover works – in both print and online – that I think should be required reading (or at least deserving of more attention).
I apologize for my absence. The summer has been so incredibly busy and I’ve barely had any time to sit down at my computer, never mind with this blog. I’ve been reading a lot (10 books since the start of summer) and hoarding articles I haven’t been able to read yet. In the meantime, I did find a few pieces that I thought are worth your time so here’s this week’s “Required Reading.”
I didn’t need a private desk and the talismanic power of special objects surrounding me. All I needed was a warm cardigan (summer temperatures can be freezing) and the ability to ignore certain trivial rules (no drinking in the reading room; I’m very discreet with my coffee), and I had everything I needed to work effectively.
If you are a writer, you have at one time or another asked the question: “how does one become a successful writer?” Is it a desk or a space or a special notebook? This wonderful personal essay from The Millions answers that question. It’s exactly the simple answer you expect it to be.
So when sun set on the heralded third day, she let the spell break. Not just the one that gave Ariel legs and Ursula a slender waistline, but also the one that everyone had been drifting under. She cackled and showed a boat full of aristocrats what they’d been missing. Her body split through her wedding gown, unmoored; a dam that could no longer contain the river of her.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. This essay could not be more gorgeous, spanning, or thought provoking if it tried. It’s truly an incredible piece of work about size, power, and being a woman who wields both.
Here she is, learning norms, feeling her way through fear, wondering if she’s next. She’s six, you know. Her school supply list still calls for blunt-tip scissors. I heard the terrorists hid weapons in bushes.
Taylor Harris wrote one of the most beautiful, heart wrenching, and necessary pieces after the horrific events that unfolded in Charlottesville two weeks ago. It’s about racism, America, innocence, family, and the intersection of hate and love. It is an essay that does not demand, but evokes, empathy with every single line. I’ve recommended it countless times already and will continue to do so.
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What is “Required Reading” for you? What should I absolutely read and why? Leave it in the comments and I’ll read it as soon as I can!