May 9, 2019 § 24 Comments
By Chelsea Biondolillo
This list was inspired by the bookstore events coordinator who wanted to know, “What is the target audience for your book (i.e. history buffs, scientists, gardeners, kids, retirees, etc.) and why do you think your book will interest them?”
PEOPLE WHO WILL BE INTERESTED IN MY BOOK
- People who were children.
- Anyone who has ever seen a bird close-up, or who has longed to.
- My mother.
- That one childhood friend who will probably skim the pages of a copy at a bookstore, to see if she can tell whether any of the essays are from the time in my life when she is certain she loomed large. Though she’s in there, she’ll never know where exactly, so she’ll decide against buying a copy.
- Those of us inclined to carry a stone around, for luck or company.
- My ex-husband’s second wife.
- People who thought it was going to be a book about birds. Half of them will give up halfway through and the other half will think it’s pretty interesting for a bird book that isn’t exactly about birds.
- That one acquaintance who reads literary nonfiction by women writers so he can impress the kind of women who read literary nonfiction by women writers (even though they all end up going “crazy” on him). He doesn’t know yet that my book might work against in him in that regard.
- People who pick up feathers, even though it is against the law to do so.
- Students assigned it in their advanced nonfiction workshops by professors with innovative and admirable pedagogy.
- People who don’t normally like nature writing, but who make an exception in my case.
- Women who at least one person has called crazy.
- Half a dozen people I met once and made an impression upon, most likely in my thirties, as I was more memorable then than I’ve ever been.
- Anyone who starts out their days with a lot of ambition and big plans and then finds themselves sinking into the mud of their memories, the things that were said to them, by them, over them, who finds that the view of the middle distance out a picture window can be enthralling in the worst way, capturing minutes and even hours of the day before you notice it’s happened. Something important is out there, you and I both know it, we just have to maybe look a little harder or for another moment or two to figure out what it is.
- Owners of tattoos they don’t regret, despite the side-eyes of a certain types on public transit and in long lines at the grocery store.
- Owners of lonely hearts.
- That other childhood friend who will read her name on a page and think at first that I have maligned her. A closer read will reveal otherwise, but there’s no telling if my book will get one from her.
- Anyone who has run away from something.
- A small cadre of lurkers who have quietly and steadfastly supported me through a lot of bullshit and a few parades. They probably won’t even tell me, until I run into them somewhere unexpected, and that will be a wonderful and endearing surprise.
- Readers inclined to possess pretty books. It is a pretty book, after all.
- Those few dearest, brightest lights who are hearts of my heart. Who bolster, cajole, inspire, comfort, and champion me. Who I bolster, cajole, and hopefully inspire and comfort right back. They will tell me that everyone should be interested in my book, and I will tell them I believe them.
- Those of us who ran the long way ‘round until we came back home again.
- Those of us afraid that home has been lost forever.
Chelsea Biondolillo is the author of the essay collection The Skinned Bird and two prose chapbooks, Ologies and #Lovesong. She lives and works outside of Portland, Oregon, in a house her grandparents built.