In “Stories From The Road,” Tayari Jones, along with Junot Diaz, Sloane Crosley, Nell Zink, Gary Shteyngart, speak about the relationship between writers and readers.
In Georgia, we have an expression that speaks to our limited human understanding of our own actions and motivations. We say “I call myself.” In that tradition, I can say that I called myself writing my first novel, “Leaving Atlanta,” in order to remind the world that in the early 1980s, 30 African-American children were killed in my hometown; two of them were students at my elementary school. I believed myself to be banging on the door of History, demanding that my memories be let in.
But as we also know in the South, what you call yourself doing and what you are called to do are often two different things. — Tayari Jones