Seattle City of Literature

The book is repetitive but warm: stories generally fall neatly into the following templates:

  • I started taking this creative writing class at the UW and it changed my life;
  • I moved to Seattle on a whim because I was bored and it changed my life;
  • I went to this book reading or poetry recital and it changed my life.

What I found nice and pleasant about this book (and neither of these things really warrant recommending it to folks) is that so many of the classes, landmarks, and dive bars referenced are places that I've either been to or can imagine going to, and that so many of the stories seem shockingly plausible and livable.

The revealing nature of this is that the stories of the scene blooming forty years ago are identical to the stories of the scene blooming eighty years ago, and of the scene blooming today. There was no magic ingredient to create a heyday — just a bunch of passionate nerds.

Overall: yeah, don't read it if you don't live in Seattle and aren't interested in plumbing the creative scene (and this is a book focused on a scene rather than actual literary merit.) But if you those two things do apply to you, you'll enjoy it immensely!

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