1. Achebe was acutely aware of “the danger of not having your own stories.” His 2000 collection of personal essays, Home and Exile, undertook the “process of ‘re-storying’ peoples who had been knocked silent by the trauma of all kinds of dispossession.” Library Journal said, “His passion and truth are sensuous and contagious, warming [the] soul.” In Achebe’s last novel, Anthills of the Savannah, an old man from Abazon speaks persuasively of the power of storytelling, which endures beyond wars and warriors. Carrying with it the wisdom of the past, “the story is our escort; without it, we are blind.”

    — “The story is our escort”: Chinua Achebe, 1930-2013, by yours truly, over at LJ Reviews.

  2. I like books, and I believe librarianship is about books, if you stop and think about how books equal stories, and it doesn’t matter what goddamn container they come in, be it paper, digital, audio, or a film or a video game. Stories are what people crave, and stories (like the storycorp partnership with libraries, or the not so new resurgence of reading aloud to adults–and adult librarians, if you need help on reading aloud, you know who to ask) are what libraries have and always will do best.

    — Ego, Thy Name Is Librarianship (via himissjulie)

  3. The rest of the evening was a story about stories. In accepting the 2012 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for Goblin Secrets (Margaret K. McElderry Bks: S. & S. Children’s Publishing), William Alexander first expressed his astonished delight by exclaiming, “Okay, we now have proof that alternate universes exist,” then cited Ursula Le Guin’s comment, “The literature of imagination…offers a world large enough to contain alternatives and therefore offers hope.”

    — Barbara Hoffert recaps the National Book Awards ceremony over at LJ.

  4. Very early on, I realized that what had been the most helpful to me in times of sorrow or uncertainty were stories—fiction or nonfiction—sometimes in the form of poems, other times in novels or memoirs or short stories. So I decided to trust that and use storytelling in the column as a way of enlarging and deepening the questions the letter writers were asking me. The advice column is at heart an intimate exchange between two people who are addressing each other in a public forum. There’s a wonderful intensity inherent in that exchange that’s slightly different from the other genres I’ve written in, but I see all the work as parts of a whole.

    — Cheryl Strayed, on writing for “Dear Sugar,” from LJ’s recent Q&A.

  5. We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.

    — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

    (Source: rkb)