ART SAVES: AN INTRODUCTION

One of my writing teachers in Chicago kept a sign taped to her office wall that read, “Art Saves.” I can’t think of a more eloquent way to explain why, in a world that already feels so bogged down by content, opinions and general over-sharing, I would decide to start blogging.  You see, art — most often in the form of literature — has been saving me for a long time now.

It’s safe to say that (with the exception of my family) books have been the steadiest and most consistent presence throughout my life. They’ve offered refuge and escape and entertainment and education, but they’ve also been a way of connecting. Readers and writers come together on the page. When we read someone else’s words, we spend a little time inside their head and their heart. Beyond that, reading connects us with each other. When we read stories, we parachute into the characters’ points of view and thus, we become more open-minded and empathetic people. If you don’t believe me, check out this study published in Science Magazine about literature’s impact on empathy.

And so by writing about reading, I’ll try to forge a bond with you as I tell you a little bit about what I’m reading and I hope you’ll send your own reading lists my way. I tend to read a lot of contemporary novels, so my write-ups will focus on that particular category, but I do try to shake it up from time to time. I may even go crazy and write a little about TV or a movie once in a while. As we’ve heard many times, we’re in a “new golden age of television,” where the powers that be have finally figured out that people really like long-form storytelling. And ultimately that’s what I’m interested in – storytelling.

(Important Note: This particular post is a fairly earnest one, but I’ll do my best to inject my typical hilarious wit into regular posts.)

With that, I’ll use some television lingo and give you a teaser for my first real post coming soon: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. Coincidentally, salvation is one of the book’s themes.

Read 6 comments

  1. I’d rather be having dinner with you. (Heh). No seriously, I love your writing and I respect your reading–I’m pumped about this here blog…and YOU.

    I would like to be able to share the bounty on Facebook and my own (dormant) site. Any chance you could add some buttons for that purpose?

  2. Trying not to be offended that your post didn’t read: “It’s safe to say that (with exception of my family and a little girl named Nellie…). I will forgive you this oversight. LOVE the idea of this blog. I am always asking for your advice on books to read and always loving your guidance. Now my little Anna Louise is even benefitting as we tear through her books from Aunty T. She can just hold her head up on her own so, of course, we read every night – often Aunty T’s top picks for 3 month olds – worthy of a future post…You have two faithful followers in the Kisiel household, but then, you knew that.

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