Mid-Life

The first writer I ever heard give a talk was Larry McMurtry, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Lonesome Dove I had devoured in a particularly fallow week while drifting jobless through the suburban wastes of Glendale, CA. I had since moved to Seattle where my then fiancé and I went to see him at the University of Washington. I was twenty-five, and just begun my first novel.

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Lighted Travel

I’ve noticed that if I’m flipping through television channels looking for something to watch, and I happen on a scene where a man has a gun pointed at someone’s face, I usually pause in my flipping. The same is true if I land on a scene of a man and woman in the act. In both cases I know absolutely nothing about the context for what I am seeing. I don’t know if the man with the gun is a villain or a hero, if he’s crazed or courageous; I also don’t if the man and the woman are in love or if they’ve just met at a bus stop. All I know is that someone might die, or that two people are having sex.

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Just Words

My younger brother and I were both interested as boys in the arts, but whereas I was drawn to the page he was drawn to the stage and eventually the screen. We were talking about our separate choices one day, and he admitted he was somewhat puzzled by mine. “I don’t get it, Bill,” he said. “With books all you get are words.”

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William KenowerComment
The Explorer

When I was a young man I was very interested in making my way in the world. There was something adventurous about learning how to succeed as an adult. Childhood felt a little pre-constructed, plopped as you are into your parents’ full lives and then sent to schools with their uniformity of ambition. Adulthood had no such boundaries, it seemed to me.

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