Why it’s great (and terrible) to be a writer today.

more_than_it_hurts_you_lrgOne Story author Darin Strauss (issue # 15, “Smoking Inside”) has some thoughts on why it is great to be a writer, despite these desperate times, over at the Penguin Blog.

 “These are, as the whole world knows, tough days for literary fiction. And it’s never been the easiest career, even in boom times. Rejection. Financial uncertainty. Mean or dense critics. Good publishers that nevertheless have, at the end of each quarter, to answer to corporate bosses. Plus, the difficulty of composition. Blah blah blah. Everyone knows about this job, about the privations and snags of it.

But it’s wonderful, too.

…The best books do what no other art form can; that is, they make us inhabit the minds of other people. We may not like these peple sometimes, but we can’t help but gain a modicum of empathy if we see the world through the eyes of someone we don’t like. Being a reader, therefore, could just possibly make you a more sympathetic person. (I know if you subtracted, say, ten important books from my life – Anna Karenina, Lolita, American Pastoral, Herzog, others, others – I’d be lessened personally by the sacrifice.)”

To read the rest of the article, go here. And be sure to pick up Darin’s book, More Than It Hurts You, just out in paperback!

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