Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Janet Skeslien Charles, On Reading

"Reading is like breathing. Necessary. Reading shows us different worlds, different times, different ways of thinking. I have read in stages.

Growing up in a plains town of 2000 souls, about as landlocked as possible, I was able to visit Russia through Anna Karenina and the South through The Sound and the Fury. Novels helped me escape my own world.

Reading made me want to create my own job for my own characters. This was the job I wanted -- to create new places with my own people. Reading -- analyzing the techniques of other authors, looking at the motivations of their characters -- helped me write my own stories.

As I get older, instead of escape, I seek understanding. Why do we do what we do? How do we survive terrible things? I learn the answers from novelists and historians in reading their words."

{Janet Skeslien Charles is the author of Moonlight in Odessa. It has been translated into over a dozen languages and was named a top ten debut by Publishers Weekly in 2009. She works as the Programs Manager at the American Library in Paris and enjoys interviewing other authors on her blog.}

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