July 3, 2002
Second-Year Student Publishes First Book of Short Stories
Tuesday, July 2, was the official release date for a collection of short stories, You Are Not a Stranger Here, penned by second-year YLS student Adam Haslett.
Haslett holds what he calls a "romantic conception of the task of writing." His central aim in each story he writes is to emotionally move his reader. He also says that he values the fact that he isn't solely a professional writer. His work in law school demands much of his time and energy, but the time away from writing also helps him gauge whether he is passionate about what he is writing. "It's a sort of romantic notion," he says, "but so far I am clinging to it."
Haslett says that he recognizes that a story he is writing is going well when he hears a certain music in it. "That's what alerts me to the fact that something is working--there is a discernible music or rhythm to the prose that suggests ideas. Things begin to fall into a certain chant or rhythm."
Surprisingly, given his romantic approach to crafting stories, Haslett didn't find the transformation of his writing into a mass-market commodity painful--and he credits his editor, Nan A. Talese. "She's wonderful, and the process was very easy, which I think is unusual. There wasn't a lot of editing. She edited some of the stories, but a fair amount of it went in as it was. . . . She's of the old school in still being centered on the writer, and keeping the business side at bay for the writer to work."
Now the music that Haslett heard and recorded on paper is available as a 224-page hard-cover on the shelves of bookstores around the country.
To read more about how Haslett managed to write You Are Not a Stranger Here and complete his first two years at YLS, follow this link.