Ever since I committed to writing, I have spent equal time and energy thinking about that one, most beastly of fears, which comes uninvitedly in tow: fraudulence. Imposterism. Paralysing fear in your own ability. So paralysing, in fact, that when you do muster any belief at all—be it scanty and tied up in knots—you wonder if it is all just an illusion? A spell of false comfort? C Pam Zhang—easily one of the most talented young writers at work today—pulls the ground beneath that question in this ingenious, incandescent short story with a gut-punch of an ending. Is all art, in fact, a delusion? Something ‘slant’, only a way of looking beyond which everything, indeed everything, is just ordinary. I don’t know how to describe or summarise short stories like this, but ever since having read it, I tell my friend—my ‘write club’ member—that all we need to write is ‘a three-minute study of light changing on a wall’. Read the story to find out if you agree or not.
Published in The Cut on January 17, 2020, and available to read here)