Debbie Harry at the Supermarket by Wayne Koestenbaum


Wayne Koestenbaum’s piece “Debbie Harry at the Supermarkey” was very interesting to read, yet sort of strange. I really liked the details that he went into when talking about what he loved about Debbie Harry and her music, but at some point it started to borderline on creepy and stalkerish. I think that writing about something you are so passionate about helps make something that is nonfiction more interesting, and I’m sure Koestenbaum didn’t intend to come off as creepy, but I felt like he maybe went a little too far with his descriptions when watching her walk down the street.

I wish that there was more about her at the supermarket. I understand that this is nonfiction, and hopefully he didn’t follow her around the supermarket, but from the title I thought that there would be more of a story about that. After a while, I just wanted to know why he chose to start with the image of her in the supermarket, rather than just saying that he lived near her and would sometimes see her walking down the street. I have always thought that nonfiction essays like this one should start with the topic or whatever is interesting about the piece and then gone into further detail about why it means so much to them or why a reader should care. Even though the author did go into more detail, it felt more like he was talking about her career than why her music was really important to him in ways other than learning about women.

Me, On Shuffle by Chuck Klosterman


I really enjoyed reading this essay. It was another essay that was assigned to me by my Creative Acts professor for our non-fiction unit, but it was incredibly relatable. I think most people can relate to not knowing what to say when asked what kind of music you like. Generally, I just say whatever band I’m really into at the time or I lie. Sometimes I say everything but country, but that’s not really true. It’s a complicated question and it’s hard to pin point exactly what you like about the songs that you like.

I think that Chuck Klosterman does a really nice job of actually writing about what he likes about songs. It’s kind of funny in a way, because I didn’t expect him to do that. But, it also makes the article much more interesting and I found myself thinking “Yeah, I like that part of that song too.” It’s pretty great when a writer gets you to care about what he’s writing like that.

The Fourth State of Matter by Jo Ann Beard


This story was really sad, but so good. When I first saw how long it was, I was initially put off by the length, but I read through it so quickly I did not even realize that I was at the end.

Everything in the story is heartbreaking. She experiences so much loss that you kind of hope something good happens just to make up for it. Of course, this never happens, but I’m glad that her dog did not die at the end as well. That would have been really upsetting to read.

Her descriptions and the way that she told the story made it flow so well. It was like I was involved in the story and I could picture every little detail that she mentioned. It made me feel like I could relate to her and that made it so much more emotional. I have a little dog who is still pretty much a puppy and I could not imagine what I would do or how I would feel about the possibility of losing him forever. It would be devastating.

In class, we talked about how it is kind of a touchy thing to write about events like the mass shooting in this essay. Tons of people were probably affected by it and could be upset that this woman would write about it and essentially make a profit from the story. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this. I guess when you are writing about something that not only affects you but affects others you have to make the decision to share it or not.

Letters from Majorca by J.D. Daniels


I very much enjoyed reading J.D. Daniels essay “Letters from Majorca.” Parts of it jumped around a bit and I wasn’t exactly sure where he was or what time frame it was in the story, but I do not think that it took away from it.

When I think of non-fiction pieces, I usually think of long-form biographies or memoirs. I think this essay really shows that you can write a piece of non-fiction and it can still be interesting. I especially liked how it sort of felt like he was jumping through different memories that would bring him to another topic.

When I write, I often feel like things that I’m writing about remind me of something else and I want to spend time talking about that, but I’ve never been successful at doing so. This essay is successful in doing that and actually made it really pretty great.