Happy Birthday, Fernanda Eberstadt, born 10 November 1960.
- As a kid, you think you’re the only one who feels so strange, so out-of-kilter with what seems to be expected of you. Then, with luck, you meet your tribe, the other ones who grew up feeling just as weird, and that’s who I write about.
- Some of the people I write about are stubborn loners isolated by the freakiness of their artistic vision, but others have been marginalised by their skin-colour or clothes or accent.
- From my grandfather, I grew up thinking of the English language as this great saltwater-taffy voodoo doll that can stand a lot of teasing and contorting.
- The ethics of representation, of othering have become increasingly problematic. Yet the need for enlarged sympathy and understanding—the need to get inside each other’s heads—is just as great in this time of militarised borders, mass incarceration, gated communities, and art is one way this exchange occurs.
- How are we going to love our neighbours if we don’t know who they are?
- It’s simpler, feeling like a Martian in a place where you speak the language badly than in your own hometown. Most writers, me among them, are itinerant preachers, ranting at a house that’s long been boarded up. Home is a suitcase full of amulets too secret and painful to unpack.
Fernanda Eberstadt is an American writer. She is the author of four previous novels, including Rat and The Furies, and one book of nonfiction. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.
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