One day you might be 37 years old, sitting in a Laundromat and remember a scene from a book, a stanza from a poem, a line from a play that will grab you by the throat, whisper in your ear, massage your shoulders and it will make you feel more alive than you have ever felt- connected and strong and devastated and engaged with everything in a way that takes your breath away- at the exact same moment everyone else at the Laundromat is watching their towels spin in the dryer. Or checking their Twitter accounts.
You of all people understand that you read great literature, not because it’s going to be on the test, or that your intimate knowledge of A Tale of Two Cities is going to get you into a great college. You understand that your intimacy with and the comfort and excitement you take in great literature is going to be on the invisible test you take when you fall in love, choose a job, have a child, take risks, fail, succeed: live.
This is a short excerpt from a gorgeous glorious piece called "Preaching to the Choir" on the value of fiction and writing by Arlaina Tibensky. Her novel AND THEN THINGS FALL APART (repped by the Amazing Suzie Townsend) is on sale now.