Failure as Kin

In a recent installment of our Craft Capsules series, Christine Imperial, author of Mistaken for an Empire: A Memoir in Tongues (Mad Creek Books, 2023), writes about the freedom in hybrid forms of the essay and how becoming comfortable with failure helped the process of writing her book. “The essay should be an experiment—without a guarantee of success, like the hypothesis before an experiment,” she writes. “When one writes with failure as kin, one writes without the expectation of understanding, ceding to the persistence of the opaque.” Write an essay about a time when failure led to a better understanding of something in your life. What lessons did you learn through this process?

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