When I came in for a chicken pox shot, my mother mentioned to Dr. William Eric Williams that she could recite one of his father’s poems from memory. “Let’s hear it,” he said.
It’s been impossible to ignore the furor surrounding the revelation of Elena Ferrante’s identity last month. Some consider it an inevitability, yet the majority of her fans seem to feel that it is enough to have been given the gift of her writing, without expressly violating her wishes.
Last month at the Franklin Electric Reading Series in Crown Heights, Kristin Dombek read a collaborative “choose your own adventure” piece with her friend Stephanie K. Hopkins, pausing after every scene to ask the audience where the story should travel next.
My grandfather’s work has always loomed large in my mind, made mysterious by its inaccessibility. I never learned to speak Spanish, not fluently, not well – though I maintain the vocabulary of a toddler. Hace calor hoy. Mi color favorito es azul. The “I” centered statements of basic need.