I think I came to and still come to writing as a sounding board—and I mean that in both senses. As a way not just to record experience, but to be or to have one, to investigate one’s habitus. What’s that Oppen line: “There are things we live among and to see them is to know ourselves.” I think of it as a way of seeing more deeply.
"It isn’t an exaggeration to say we receive far more fully fleshed-out, pre-reported pitches from women writers."
Brittany Shoot discusses 7 of her favorite nature, science, and technology writers on our Bookmarked column this week.
"Over the millennia, humans have learned to swim like fish, to travel underground like burrowing creatures, to race like horses, and to fly like birds, and then improved upon each method. To navigate we’ve piled rock cairns, mapped rivers, charted the very stars. Our bodies are moved by light and time, and cycle by the moon. But the real mechanism that drives us forward is imagination. Over that next hill, over that far horizon, we each hope or pray or choose to take on faith, awaits us paradise, or victory, or truth, or home. And that thought, like magnetic pull, impels us over uncharted seas, across the globe, and into wide open space."
The Lifecycle of Butterflies, by Molly Beer.
In 2002, radio producers interviewed “New Yorkers who were among the last—and in some cases, the very last—to hold jobs in industries that were dying … They came up with seven people—a Brooklyn fisherman, a water-tower builder, a cowbell maker, a knife-and-scissor grinder, a lighthouse keeper, an old-fashioned bra fitter, and a seltzer man.” The interviews are now online.
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
Looking for a summer read? We’ve got recommendations from our Unlisted List- a compilation of stellar non fiction by women from 1900 words upwards that we’ve been debated, discussed, and chosen over the past year. Happy reading!
Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.
"Like photons, we existed in one long, sun drenched moment, our faces blotted out, our bodies dwarfed by the massive dream-structures of cathedrals. The gelato. The wine. The ocean. The ferry drivers. The card games. The spinach in our teeth. The laughing fits. The pigeon filled squares. The decisions not to go see the David, but to do something less worthy instead. Together we rushed towards the future in a place that was the epicenter of the past. If time was a river, we were rowing into its mouth."
Rufi Thorpe on a trip to Italy with a close friend, the transformative power of travel, heartbreak, and not seeing the David.