Name, Position, School, Year, Hometown
Jess Silfa, Community Outreach Editor, Senior in GS, NYC
Why did you join Quarto? What do you hope it accomplishes this year?
I'm a psychology major who pretends to be in the creative writing department―I figured joining the literary magazine would help keep the ruse going. This year, with the launch of online content, the magazine is poised to publish a robust collection of work. I'm really excited about how much writing we'll get out to the Columbia community.
What is the last book you read that wasn't for a class?
People read books for fun? That's still a thing? It feels like it's been a while. Even this past summer, the books I read were largely by faculty at different MFA programs so I could get a feel for their styles. I guess the last book I read purely for entertainment was Karen Russell's "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves." It was a birthday gift from a group of people at my residency; I loved the stories so much.
If you could recommend one book to anyone, which would it be and why?
You know, I picked this question because I thought it'd be interesting but it's also really hard. I'm going to go with Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone." That book has been such an influence on my life and my writing. I'm going to go ahead and cheat and list a second: Claudia Rankine's "Citizen" is brilliant and everyone should read it once.
If you could live in any book or literary world, which would it be and why?
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat. There's a talking (crazy) cat, a talking (rational) fish, and it's acceptable to leave young children home alone for long periods of time. Also, there's a magic machine at the end that fixes everything that got screwed up. That's the kind of world I want to live in. That's the kind of world we need.