Nine things My Last Book Taught Me
I wrote this article last April for Hunger Mountain, the Vermont College of Fine Arts Journal of the Arts.
"I see writers as caretakers: We hold complete worlds (real or imagined) in our palms. What fear! What joy! What mystery! And what responsibility. By writing Karma I learned something that my memoir, Lost, could not teach me. Lost pulled me into the muscle of my body where memories had to be re-experienced and grief needed to be faced. Even though loss is a universal experience, my story was personal. But writing Karma took me directly into the heart—and not just my heart, but the heart of a people, a culture, a nation, and the larger heart of humanity. Acts of murder targeted at religious or cultural groups are acts of violence against every human being. When writers choose to speak about injustice, whether it is genocide or bullying, they lift the world from their hands and heave it onto their shoulders."
To read the entire essay: