February

With “God Made a Face” as a primer, I found Baldwin’s second letter, in which he describes a tumultuous adolescence as a youth preacher while experiencing a crisis of faith, riveting. Knowing the relationship he gave up with Bill in search of solace, autonomy, and freedom; the tension between writing and preaching, his father’s approval and wrath, the “saved” and the “wretched unsaved of the Avenue,” make the letter even more poignant.

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January

From the first essay Zadie Smith had my full attention. Her willingness to admit that she would not allow herself to enjoy The Bluest Eye as a young teen, though for a different reason than my own, spoke to a time in my life I had all but buried and have been mulling over ways to reconcile since reading the essay.

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Year to Date: January - July 2019

The books I’ve read since the start of the year have challenged and informed my decisions, expanded my capacity for empathy, changed how I see the world. They have done what literature ought to do…I’m excited for the opportunity to practice writing. To participate in this craft I’ve come to hold in high esteem. What I’ve read so far is below. How they’ve impacted me — as a human being, as a writer —  is to come.

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