Marcia Walker's Reading Recommendation
Posted on July 25, 2019
What I'm reading:
I knew James Baldwin as a short story writer and essayist for years, but I only started reading his novels this summer. I started with Giovanni's Room, then moved onto Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, and If Beale Street Could Talk. Now I'm starting Another Country. I'll keep mainlining on his writing until there's nothing left. I'm hooked.
He was a prolific writer but he also struggled with the process and referred to his workroom as his "torture chamber." One of the things he said about writing which I've been thinking quite a bit about is the following:
"When you’re writing, you’re trying to find out something which you don’t know. The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out. But something forces you to anyway."
That tension of wanting and not wanting to know is irresistible to me as a reader and a writer.
Marcia Walker's writing has appeared in Prism international, Room, Event, Antigonish Review, University of Toronto Magazine, This Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC radio and The Broken Social Scene Story Project. She is a graduate of the Guelph MFA program and runs the Emerging Writers Reading Series in Toronto.