Finding stories is hard. Finding good stories is even harder. Stories that keep you up at night, that kicks back into your head the reason why you wake up in the morning jonesing for a good book, is so rare it’s like discovering a new cuisine that you fall in love with. (For me that was Chinese Lamb Skewers).
I make a point to find these short stories, particularly online. Like this and this. Not long ago I watched the HBO show True detective and loved it. When I found out that the creator of the show was a writer I immediately went out to read some of the stuff. That’s how I found beyond Between Here and the Yellow Sea.
Instead of just running through all the reasons I liked it, I just want to point out something that I thought was very heartfelt in that story, the stories of the collection of the same name, and maybe why we all write.
During an interview Nic Pizzolatto describe his trapped feeling he had while working at a university teaching writing.
Two years later, in a tenure-track writing professorship at DePauw University in Indiana, he found himself unhappy. “I’d want to bring a flamethrower to faculty meetings,” he said. “The preciousness of academics and their fragile personalities would not be tolerated in any other business in the known universe.” From The LA Times
Here’s a guy with a tenure-track position, a chance for lifetime employment (debatable I know, but comfortable anyways) but he was plagued by an angst. It is that same feeling of an incoming future that you’re pretty sure is bland, soul sucking, or just plain bad that Pizzolatto’s characters try to contend with.
Sometimes the characters pick a path to a better happiness, sometimes they’re overwhelmed. But they still have to make the decision.
When we look at Nic Pizzolatto, he decided to pick a riskier path that could lead to a better happiness. He doggedly pursued it. And I got that the chance to see and read his work, which is something that I never would’ve been able to otherwise. And I thank him for that and want to share his awesome short stories with you.