The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Emily Roberson, author of Lifestyles Of Gods And Monsters.
I see you, sitting on the floor of our room, late fall of junior year, listening to the stack of albums on the ancient record player. It was your parents’ but you’ve highjacked it upstairs. It has an arm that lets you suspend five or ten albums on it, and when one record finishes playing, the next drops, and then the next. I has a stack you love – The White Album, the Byrds, the Doors, the Rite of Spring, Rhapsody in Blue, Bessie Smith. You will listen to the whole stack, then flip it over, and listen to the B sides.
You are surrounded by stacks of magazines, another thing you love – Vogue, Elle, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker. You tear out the glossy pages, making mosaics of the images and lives that seem so far from here: Jacksonville, Arkansas. An Air Force Town. A Southern town. A small town. A place where people tease you for reading. The place you are ostensibly from.
Books are here, too. You will read anything except for horror, always have – Romance, SciFi, Books of mythology, history, fantasy, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, The Reader’s Encyclopedia, the Dictionary. You also have stacks of cookbooks—recipes you’d like to make. The parties you’d like to throw.
Emily as a teenager