I suppose the first step in having truly open discussions about these topics is to first education people that such topics are, indeed, topics at all. How many people, like myself, have never even thought about most of these, I wonder?
Sometimes I discover writers whose brains I’d love to poke around in, whose ideas are either so different from mine or so inherently unique that to read something of theirs is like tiptoeing into another universe. If I had to be honest, I’d say these are the authors to whom I generally gravitate—my love of reading started as an escape (from family drama, from friend drama, from my longtime and sometimes overwhelming discomfort in my own skin), and so I’m drawn to books whose perspectives are desperately unfamiliar. I want to be taken somewhere. I want to miss my subway stop and stay up late and cancel brunch plans because of a book. (Despite the obnoxious literary backlash against Stephen King, my SK fondness comes from his ability to inspire such intense fleeting obsessions).
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