I talk about Quake Books, the ones that alter who you are as a writer and person. I give some advice that your English or MFA professors won't like, and I talk about how Nathan Hill's quake book, and mine, were written by the same author.

 

That'd be Virginia Wolfe. In his case it was Mrs. Dalloway, where Clarissa would famously buy the flowers herself. In my case it was A Room of One's Own, a work of fiction that operates as an extended essay. Its form was unlike any book I'd read, but that wasn't why it became my Quake Book. I read it and re-read it because I had never heard a rhythm of writing as beautiful as Wolfe's. These were sentences and paragraphs as incantation, and I was under Virginia's spell. I still am, and in the episode I detail how her writing affects me, which is now second to how her ideas do.

 

Give it a listen.

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