James Tate Hill Recommends...

“After losing my sight, I found comfort in my favorite movies, ones I had seen so many times I remembered the pictures that accompanied voices and soundscapes. Returning to Rain Man, Stand By Me, and Jaws with only my ears, I was surprised how much of each story remained intact. I was also surprised, listening more closely than I used to listen, by how many details I never noticed. I might have been thinking of those movies years later when I requested a book from my library that I had already read. Rejected by MFA programs, I hadn’t written anything in more than a year and wondered if I had any business reapplying. Jack London’s Martin Eden was one of the earliest audiobooks I checked out when I could no longer read print. Now it would be the first book I ever reread. It was the same novel, the same story, the same words and sentences, but I wasn’t the same reader. There were new layers in London’s autobiographical novel about a self-educated sailor who wants desperately to become a writer. Ever since, whenever I’ve felt stuck, in writing or in life, I’ve reread favorite books. As much as the solace of an old friend, what seems to help is the reminder that we’re always changing in ways we rarely notice at the time, that nothing stuck ever stays stuck for long.”
—James Tate Hill, author of Blind Man’s Bluff (Norton, 2021) 

Photo credit: Lori Jackson Hill