The UChicagoan https://mag.uchicago.edu/uchicagoan en Eve L. Ewing, AB’08 https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/eve-l-ewing-ab08 <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19_Summer_Ewing_UChicagoan%20copy.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/09/2019 - 17:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(Illustration by Lucie Rice)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Summer/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Questions for the author, College alumna, and SSA assistant professor.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2>What surprising job have you had in the past?</h2> <p>When I was younger, I worked at the legendary ice cream parlor Margie’s Candies, up on Armitage and Western near where I grew up. I also worked at a call center for a while. I was really good at politely reading a script to people over the phone.</p> <h2>What do you hate that everyone else loves?</h2> <p>I don’t hate cats, but I’m terribly, devastatingly allergic to them, so just the thought of being around them makes me anxious.</p> <h2>What do you love that everyone else hates?</h2> <p>Grits with butter and sugar. This makes me an oppressed minority in my community, and I don’t care.</p> <h2>What’s your least useful talent?</h2> <p>I do a really good imitation of Lumpy Space Princess from <em>Adventure Time</em> as well as a pretty good Princess Peach.</p> <h2>What was the last book you finished?</h2> <p><em>White Negroes</em> by UChicago graduate student Lauren Jackson. I was asked to write a blurb for it. It’s going to spur some good conversations when it comes out.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Eve Ewing portrait illustration" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a955ea03-8965-4e87-ad05-047c1295c17f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19_Summer_Ewing_UChicagoan_SpotA.jpg" /><figcaption>(Illustration by Lucie Rice)</figcaption></figure></div> <h2>What advice would you give to a brand-new Maroon?</h2> <p>Chicago has 77 neighborhoods. Pick one, look up a restaurant or bookstore to check out, and go there without using a ride-share.</p> <h2>What book—or other work or idea—do you relish teaching?</h2> <p>I absolutely love teaching about Frederick Douglass. Any class I teach about education begins with the excerpt from his autobiography where he talks about learning to read and write while enslaved. I think it’s an important way to begin a conversation about what education represents for people.</p> <h2>What book changed your life?</h2> <p><em>Blacks</em>, the collection of Gwendolyn Brooks’s poems.</p> <h2>What was the last book you put down before you finished it?</h2> <p>I really wish I could tell you that because it was a widely lauded book that was just terrible, and I was so disappointed. But that would cause writer drama! But oh, it was bad. I’m still bummed about it.</p> <h2>Tell us the best piece of advice you’ve received—or the worst.</h2> <p>“Protect your byline.” My friend and the <em>Atlantic</em> writer Vann Newkirk says that, and I think it applies to everything, writing and otherwise. Always think carefully about what it means to attach your name to something, because your name is all you have.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/college-alumni" hreflang="en">College alumni</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/uchicagoan" hreflang="en">The UChicagoan</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/eve-l-ewing-ab08" data-a2a-title="Eve L. Ewing, AB’08"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Feve-l-ewing-ab08&amp;title=Eve%20L.%20Ewing%2C%20AB%E2%80%9908"></a></span> Fri, 09 Aug 2019 22:17:25 +0000 admin 7161 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Ray Suarez, AM’93 https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/ray-suarez-am93 <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19_Spring_Suarez_The-UChicagoan.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="The UChicagoan" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/30/2019 - 15:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Spring/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Questions for the broadcast journalist, alumnus, and College parent.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2>What surprising job have you had in the past?</h2> <p>My last job before I went permanently into newsroom work was baking bagels in Rego Park, Queens. It was hard work, which started in the middle of the night with me bringing up 100-pound sacks of flour from the basement to begin that morning’s dough, and ended with me ringing up purchases before checking out for the day. The job involved good eye-hand coordination and getting burned a lot. All these years later, I can still bore you with the finer points of what makes a properly baked bagel.</p> <h2>What would you want to be doing if not your current profession?</h2> <p>That’s a hard one. I decided I wanted to be a reporter in 9th or 10th grade and pointed my life in that direction from then on. I had considered becoming an Episcopal priest for a time and set that aside as my interest in the news business intensified. I am still active in the church. Today my daughter is an Episcopal priest. And a very good one.</p> <h2>What do you hate that everyone else loves?</h2> <p>“Hate” is probably way too strong a word. I just miss whatever it is that so many of my fellow Americans love about NFL football. Show me a pro football game from beginning to end and you can probably perform surgery on me without anesthesia. I usually watch the last 15 minutes or so of the Super Bowl (roughly the last two minutes on the clock). I figure it’s an important enough cultural event that I should know what happened. Every now and then I’ll be reminded I’m always a little out of step: I’ll see something like <em>La La Land</em> and think, “Why was I supposed to love that?”</p> <h2>What do you love that everyone else hates?</h2> <p>I love what I love. I’m so immersed in it I’m not sure how to answer the question. What do people hate? I don’t really know. American culture is now such a mosaic, broken down into tiny tiles instead of a broad consensus thing I’m not even sure what everyone hates. </p> <h2>What was the last book you finished?</h2> <p><em>Prisoner</em> by Jason Rezaian. It’s the <em>Washington Post</em> reporter’s story of his 544 days in captivity in Iran. It’s a beautifully written meditation on the struggle to stay sane in an insane situation, a memoir of coming of age in a blended Iranian American family, and at the same time a well-reported story of the tensions and contradictions of modern-day Iran.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Illustration of Ray Suarez" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a02eed24-1cf0-4cd4-bef2-d8c5dfbb9fba" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19_Spring_Suarez_The-UChicagoan_SpotA.jpg" /><figcaption>(Illustration by Ricardo Martinez)</figcaption></figure></div> <h2>What was the last book you recommended to a friend?</h2> <p><em>A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism</em> by Jeffrey Sachs. I’ve been interviewing Sachs and using him as a source for a quarter century. This book offers a bracing reappraisal of America’s place in the world, and makes proposals that would be startling to earlier generations of US policy makers. Interesting read.</p> <h2>What was the last book you put down before you finished it?</h2> <p><em>Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer</em> by Barbara Ehrenreich. It is a terrific book, puncturing some of the automatic assumptions we make about what we should be willing to do to extend life. It’s challenging, confrontational, and terrific. I set it aside while recovering from a serious illness. (After I recovered, I picked it back up and finished!)</p> <h2>What UChicago course book left the biggest impression on you?</h2> <p>I can only name one? I did a close read of Alexis de Tocqueville’s <em>Democracy in America</em> in a small class with <strong>Ralph Lerner, </strong>AB’47, AM’49, PhD’53, that basically used that classic as the only text. It illuminated that monumental work for me in a way reading it on my own never could.</p> <h2>What book changed your life?</h2> <p><em>Continental Drift</em> by Russell Banks. Sometimes by accident you read a book just at the right moment when you’re particularly open to what it has to say. It’s a wonderful novel about changing your life, disappointment, accident, and the unimaginable collision of American lives.</p> <h2>What person, alive or dead, would you want to write your life story?</h2> <p>I would trust James T. Farrell, EX’29, a great son of Chicago and author of the Studs Lonigan trilogy, to tell the story of my life. He’s really good at illustrating the way people look at each other across boundaries of wealth, social class, and background. He writes about the role of religion in family life in a way formed by lived experience. The bonus? People would be reading Farrell again!</p> <h2>What’s your least useful talent?</h2> <p>I can wiggle my ears. It entertained my children, for a time. When they age out, even its modest utility recedes. Perhaps some future grandchildren will find it entertaining … and by then my ears should look even bigger!</p> <h2>Tell us the best piece of advice you’ve received—or the worst.</h2> <p>My mother was allergic to self-promotion, “tooting your own horn.” She told me, “You don’t have to tell your bosses about the good work you do. They know.” It was from her vantage point as a working person, decent advice, and advice that would help build a decent person. In the peculiar context of my own workplaces, it assumed way too much. I was spending my work life in an enormous brass section, and my horn sat in my lap for too long.</p> <h2>What advice would you give to a new Maroon?</h2> <p>That stuff about “Where fun goes to die”? It’s nonsense. Pay no attention to it. Work hard. Have fun. It’s such a tiny interval in your life you really owe it to yourself—and whoever’s paying for it—to make the most of it. My son <strong>Rafael Suarez</strong>, AB’13, had a blast, and got a great education too.</p> <h2>What did you learn at UChicago that still benefits you today?</h2> <p>I was a student of William Julius Wilson’s at Chicago, just before he left for that famous school in Massachusetts. I had been a street reporter in Chicago for years, and his work and teaching gave me a sturdy framework for marrying the things I was learning on the street with the best thinking on race, wealth, and poverty at that time.</p> <h2>What’s your most vivid UChicago memory in two sentences or fewer?</h2> <p>When I was working on my master’s project I had a toddler and an infant at home. I would bring my son to Regenstein, pile up his picture books, pull up his chair next to mine in the carrel, and go to work. (He’s 30 now, and a UChicago grad.)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/journalism" hreflang="en">Journalism</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/radio" hreflang="en">Radio</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/division-social-sciences" hreflang="en">Division of the Social Sciences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/graduate-alumni" hreflang="en">Graduate alumni</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/uchicagoan" hreflang="en">The UChicagoan</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/ray-suarez-am93" data-a2a-title="Ray Suarez, AM’93"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Fray-suarez-am93&amp;title=Ray%20Suarez%2C%20AM%E2%80%9993"></a></span> Tue, 30 Apr 2019 20:44:04 +0000 admin 7107 at https://mag.uchicago.edu William Baude, SB’04 https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/william-baude-sb04 <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/story/images/19_Winter_Baude_The-UChicagoan.jpg" width="1920" height="960" alt="William Baude, SBʼ04" title="William Baude, SBʼ04" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/13/2019 - 10:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Winter/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Questions for the College alumnus and Law School professor.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2>What would you want to be doing if not teaching?</h2> <p>The boring answer, which is probably the true one, is that I would return to being a practicing lawyer, but the fantasy answer is that I would try to find some way of turning my obsessive habit of writing Yelp reviews into a job.</p> <h2>What was the last book you finished?</h2> <p><em>Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis</em> by Cynthia Nicoletti. This is a history of the federal government’s attempt to prosecute Jefferson Davis—former president of the Confederacy—for treason after the end of the Civil War.</p> <p>The trial never happened. Davis threatened to argue that he could not be guilty of treason because the South’s secession was lawful, and therefore he had lost any obligations to the United States. The government feared that a Virginia jury would be sympathetic to this defense, and that an acquittal would destabilize the fragile settlement of the war. Ultimately, this stalemate allowed Davis to run out the clock until he could benefit from a general presidential amnesty.</p> <p>Along the way, the book tells the personal stories of the defense and government lawyers, recounts the procedural machinations the government considered to get the case away from a Virginia jury, and shows how constitutional law is really made. When I picked this book up to look at it, I had no clue it was going to be the next book I finished, but I couldn’t put it down.</p> <h2>What was the last book you recommended to a friend?</h2> <p>K. J. Parker’s <em>Devices and Desires</em>—the first novel in a devious and extremely satisfying fantasy trilogy about the revenge of an exiled engineer.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="William Baude illustration" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c52effc2-0b7d-42a4-aa99-1e84bb298e21" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19_Winter_Baude_UChicagoan_spotA.jpg" /><figcaption>(Illustration by Robert Ball)</figcaption></figure></div> <h2>What was the last book you put down before you finished it?</h2> <p>Anna Burns’s <em>Milkman</em>, which just won the Man Booker Prize. It is obviously a great achievement of modern art, but its nameless breathlessness was just too much for me.</p> <h2>What book, work, or idea do you relish teaching?</h2> <p>The Constitution of the United States. Almost all of constitutional law is taught in law school through the lens of interpretations—decisions by the Supreme Court or other government institutions. But on the very first day of my class, we read only the Constitution itself, in its entirety. And every year the students find things that are obscured to those who read only interpretations.</p> <h2>What book changed your life?</h2> <p>In college, I got the sense that I was a little clueless about various social niceties and for some reason decided to solve this problem by reading <em>Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior</em>. The results were life changing. Not so much because I learned how to address an ambassador or use an oyster fork, but because Miss Manners actually contains deep principles for human relationships: that sometimes giving less of an explanation is kinder than giving more; that you can be polite without being a pushover; and—most importantly—that the rules of etiquette are separate from any kind of moral approval of the people to whom we are polite. This is what makes society possible in a world of political and moral disagreement.</p> <p>Oh, and Miss Manners gives surprisingly good romantic advice too!</p> <h2>What’s your least useful talent?</h2> <p>Reciting “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” from memory.</p> <h2>Tell us the best piece of advice you’ve received—or the worst.</h2> <p>When I started law school, several mentors encouraged me to shut down the blog I had started as a UChicago undergrad and keep my opinions to myself—the better to avoid scaring away potential employers. I decided this was terrible advice and spent much of law school publicly free-associating about legal scholarship, Supreme Court opinions, classic movies, and food.</p> <p>The blog probably did cost me some professional opportunities, but it also helped me connect with jobs, friends, apartments, and even the woman who became my wife. This reflected the much better advice I got from another professor, which was to just do the things you care about and assume that will close and open the doors that are right for you.</p> <h2>What advice would you give to a brand-new Maroon?</h2> <p>The same advice I was lucky enough to get from a first-year professor. Keep a list of every book you read starting now. You’ll treasure it (814 books) later.</p> <h2>Who was your best teacher, and why?</h2> <p>It’s tempting to name one of my favorite professors from college or law school, but it’s too hard to pick just one. One teacher who really stood out was my 10th-grade English teacher, Mr. Edwards. He was new to our school and had a laconic, almost Socratic, way of leading us in class discussions, but he blew my 15-year-old mind: he tested us on the hardest, most vivid, most poetic series of vocabulary words I have ever encountered, and he showed us that discussing literature was a vehicle for discussing deep ideas.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/books" hreflang="en">Books</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1497" hreflang="en">Faculty</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/law-school" hreflang="en">Law School</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/uchicagoan" hreflang="en">The UChicagoan</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/william-baude-sb04" data-a2a-title="William Baude, SB’04"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Fwilliam-baude-sb04&amp;title=William%20Baude%2C%20SB%E2%80%9904"></a></span> Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:40:55 +0000 admin 7056 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Bonnie Jo Campbell, AB’84 https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/bonnie-jo-campbell-ab84 <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/18Fall_UChicagoan_1.jpg" width="2000" height="808" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/09/2018 - 12:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/18</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Questions for the award-winning novelist and short story writer.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2>What surprising job have you had in the past?</h2> <p>One summer I traveled with the circus. I sold snow cones and lived on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &amp; Bailey Circus train. If I recall correctly, work was profitable through September, so I was late getting to my fall classes in my junior year. The job involved running up and down stadium stairs for six hours a day with a heavy tray over my head, so I was in great shape, and I made quite a bit of money. My voice has never quite recovered in these 36 years from yelling above the noise of the crowd and the show music, “Get your snow cones, red hot snow cones,” and “There’s no balls like snowballs.”</p> <h2>What would you want to be doing if not your current profession?</h2> <p>Teaching mathematics. Though I was a philosophy major in college and though creative writing was my passion, my favorite weekly event at UChicago was Math Tea every Friday, and so naturally when I went to graduate school it was to study mathematics. By the time I figured out how to write good fiction, I was in a PhD program focusing on graph theory. It was my PhD adviser who suggested I take a writing class. To bring matters full circle, I am currently writing a novel about a young woman who loves math.</p> <h2>What do you hate that everyone else loves?</h2> <p>If you’re talking about food, I love every single thing.</p> <h2>What do you love that everyone else hates?</h2> <p>Loading hay. We’re a farm family, and when I was young every summer involved loading and unloading thousands of bales of hay. Now we only have a couple of donkeys, and we need something like two hundred bales of hay, but it always comes without warning, just a call from our farmer friend saying we’re baling now. Everybody else dreads loading and unloading and stacking the hay in the barn, but I just love this physical activity. Though at age 56, it wears me out, it somehow makes me feel young. Once there was rain on the way and everybody else was tied up, so I brought in 110 bales from the field by myself.</p> <h2>What was the last book you finished?</h2> <p>Jeanette Winterson’s memoir <em>Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?</em> Before that it was <em>The Underground Railroad</em> by Colson Whitehead. Loved both. Since I started this questionnaire, I just finished <em>Train Dreams</em> by Denis Johnson. Picking up three brilliant books in a row thrills me!</p> <h2>What was the last book you recommended to a friend?</h2> <p>Min Jin Lee’s <em>Pachinko</em>. It’s epic. Her narrative follows a fictional Korean family for five generations, and we see how the members of that family suffer and thrive through World War II, the partitioning of Korea, right up until the present-day situation of Koreans living in Japan. I learned a lot to carry away with me, but during the reading I was mostly just caught up in this story of survival and desire. The author got her law degree at Georgetown, but telling stories lured her away.</p> <h2>What was the last book you put down before finishing it?</h2> <p>This happens more as I get older, that I discover a book that other folks love might not be good for me, or not at a certain time. I got halfway through <em>A Prayer for Owen Meany</em> (John Irving) and decided to put it back on my shelf. I love the characters and the good humor of the writing, but it’s long and I thought the women in the story were not fully realized. I don’t mind if a book’s material just doesn’t include women, but if the women characters get short shrift, I think the book might not be for me.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Bonnie Jo Campbell" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6cf1458d-06fd-4c4f-bf28-532df8eb02ea" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/18_Fall_campbell_UChicagoan_spotA.jpg" /><figcaption>(Illustration by Nigel Buchanan)</figcaption></figure></div> <h2>What UChicago course book left the biggest impression on you?</h2> <p><em>The Structure of Scientific Revolutions</em> by Thomas Kuhn. Hands down. He introduced the idea of scientific paradigm shifts. He would disapprove of my borrowing his ideas about science to describe sociological issues such as the American political situation. He showed how the facts go on to support one view of the world and how they will stretch and stretch to accommodate that view, until it becomes clear that they no longer can. If only politicians were as earnest as scientists and could see the strain, we might progress socially as we progress scientifically.</p> <h2>What book changed your life?</h2> <p>I took a class that I believe we called “Trashy Fiction of the ’30s,” in which we read Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Caldwell, etc. When we read The Grapes of Wrath, I was blown away by how compassionately an author, Steinbeck, could treat poor, struggling people. This gave me an idea that I might have something to write about.</p> <h2>What person, alive or dead, would you want to write your life story?</h2> <p>George Saunders. I would want my biography to be a work of fiction, of course, and Saunders would be just the guy to blend the quotidian, the extraordinary, and the surreal. And he would make my story his own, and that is the job of a writer.</p> <h2>What’s your least useful talent?</h2> <p>I’m good at cleaning and at organizing a mess of objects into their categories and putting them away where they belong (and creating the places they belong). If you have ever seen my messy house, this might surprise you. Let me explain. Cleaning and organizing takes a lot of time away from my writing, and my writing is way more important to me.</p> <h2>Tell us the best piece of advice you’ve received—or the worst.</h2> <p>When I was a kid, my mom told me to take every opportunity. For a while that was great advice. I grew up poor but traveled the country by hitchhiking. I led bicycle tours in Eastern Europe when I was 17—seems unreal, now that I think about it. Turns out that if you’re not trying to play it safe lots of opportunities arise. Now I have so many opportunities I have to turn them down all the time, and it makes me a little melancholy, thinking about what I might have passed up, what my world might have been like if I’d said yes.</p> <h2>What advice would you give to a brand-new Maroon?</h2> <p>Take a deep breath. Because I have a problem with anxiety, I used to take long walks at night around the campus telling myself, “Relax, it’s okay if you don’t get an A in every class,” but I imagine today’s students are all well adjusted and well rested, so I would just tell them to be their brilliant selves and keep a journal—time is going to fly, and you will want to remember everything.</p> <h2>What did you learn at UChicago that still benefits you today?</h2> <p>To take my work seriously. Before getting to Chicago, my friends all said I was too serious and worried too much about my studies. Chicago allowed me to indulge my intellectual obsessions. As far as writing, I had to take my work seriously myself for a long time before I got any accolades from the outside world.</p> <h2>What’s your most vivid UChicago memory in two sentences or less?</h2> <p>My first fiction-writing class ever was with Richard Stern, and it was a workshop situation, providing very little instruction but just reading one another’s work. When it was my turn, Stern said, authoritatively, “This work epitomizes all that is wrong with fiction-writing today.”</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/writing" hreflang="en">Writing</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/college-alumni" hreflang="en">College alumni</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/uchicagoan" hreflang="en">The UChicagoan</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/bonnie-jo-campbell-ab84" data-a2a-title="Bonnie Jo Campbell, AB’84"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Farts-humanities%2Fbonnie-jo-campbell-ab84&amp;title=Bonnie%20Jo%20Campbell%2C%20AB%E2%80%9984"></a></span> Fri, 09 Nov 2018 18:43:58 +0000 admin 7001 at https://mag.uchicago.edu