My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Dec 3

A shared experience

Category: Life,Opinions

So, I find this kind of fascinating… It seems there’s this shared experience surrounding Julie Hayden. It always starts, “Well, I’d never heard of Julie Hayden, then I listened to Lorrie Moore reading Day-Old Baby Rats on the New Yorker Fiction podcast. I was blown away, the story was absolutely amazing.” We listeners try to find out more about Julie Hayden and find very little, which is depressing, because Day-Old Baby Rats is beautiful. So we dig a little harder, and find a little more. We TRY to scare up a copy of The Lists of the Past, Hayden’s out of print short story collection, and some find it, usually through America’s arcane library system, or they luck out at some vintage bookshop. Either way, whether we’ve found Lists or not, we do whatever’s in our power to make Julie Hayden known again; a blog post, an essay, something. Though, as far as the somethings go, writer, Cheryl Strayed, has gone the farthest. Thanks to Strayed, finding The Lists of the Past is no longer limited to libraries and book resurrectionists, she got Lists re-printed.

It makes one seriously consider the whole ripples in a pond thing. Lorrie Moore started the ripples, everybody I know of who heard that New Yorker Fiction podcast thought the story was gorgeous, and that it was heartbreaking that Julie Hayden went out of print, before her early death. Lots of us tried to do something to bring Hayden back, but Cheryl Strayed really did something. It all started with a shared experience that created ripples that created waves that brought a dead writer’s dead work back to life.

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