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Chris Abani quotes

I love essays, but they're not always the best way to communicate to a larger audience.

In this time of the Internet and nonfiction, to be on an actual bookshelf in an actual bookstore is exciting in itself.

It takes me forever to actually finish something like a ten-page essay. But, when I do, I usually love what they are. It's a complicated relationship.

Men do communicate, often very directly, but women sometimes cannot accept how simple what we have to say is.

Fiction and poetry are my first loves, but the really beautiful lyrical essay can do so much that other forms cannot.

If I don't get at least one e-mail every ten minutes, I feel unloved. Even junk mail makes me feel seen. Sad, I know. Sigh.

Like most writers, I find the Web is a wonderful distraction. Who doesn't need that last minute research before writing?

I truly believe that writing is a continuum - so the different genres and forms are simply stops along the same continuum. Different ideas that need to be expressed sometimes require different forms for the ideas to float better. I don't write essays as often as I should.

My books are often shelved around those of Chinua Achebe and Margaret Atwood, or Chimamanda Adichie and Monica Ali. All of this depends, of course, on the bookstore and how conversant the shelf stocker is with the alphabet.

That women are mysterious and unknowable is something every young man grows up believing. Men, on the other hand, never think of themselves as mysterious or confusing, and we are often at a loss as to why women want to figure us out.