What Authors Have To Do With It

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“When I first read E.B.White, I was brand new to reading and brand new to life. It didn’t occur to me that he was some man, that his characters were invented in his head, or based on himself, or based on the people he knew. I didn’t picture him when I read, at all. I never speculated about his sex life, or whether he got lonely, or whether the homes he spent time in were cold. I didn’t think about whether he was religious or whether he had gone to Harvard and been an asshole there or whether he was black or white or whether his father had been famous. I didn’t picture him in relation to me. I just read about Louis and Serena and Charlotte and Wilbur and Stuart Little, my friends, probably your friends too. … I thought there was a single god, and that he would look like the puppeteer Geppetto from Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. Yet I knew the difference between real and make-believe. I just hadn’t had to face up to the difference between real and fake, yet.”

Elizabeth Bachner on judging books and authors and telling fake from make-believe.


Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at www.seth-fischer.com, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →