Critic, poet, and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib remembers “sneak reading” Thomas Pynchon’s novel “Gravity’s Rainbow” as a freshman in high school, but he quickly grew out of hiding his passion for books. Later in high school, he read Shakespeare, and his musically inclined hear heard the meant-to-be-spoken rhythms in his plays. But music criticism is where he felt spoken to, specifically Lester Bangs, and it this writing that continues to influence his own.
Writer and reader Michele Filgate credits her grandmother for generating her love for books; for Michele’s 10th birthday, she even paid Michele’s $100 library fee. Who does she consider “the patron saint of book worms”? What kind of fan fiction did she write as a kid? And what was her role in Paul Harding’s “Tinkers” winning the Pulitzer Prize for literature? You’ll have to listen to find out.