History of the Rain by Niall Williams is a wonderful book I recently finished. It’s narrated by plain Ruth Swain, a bedridden nineteen-year-old who reads nineteenth-century novels and uses capitalization as one of her tools, overdoing it according to her teacher. Listen to the way Ruth describes a character on page 13:
See her pinched face, tight to the chin, as if Life was a very narrow thing you had to get through.
I’m often tensing up, keeping everything tight. Being on guard. A moat around the castle.
With this project I’m trying to uncurl, to take up more space. Life is not narrow. And I want to touch as much of it as I can.