When We Were Birds

On a given Tuesday... by Maria Mutch


This is coming up next week. It’s a lucky thing to get to read and talk at an event with another writer; sometimes—usually—the other writer is a relative stranger, but in this case the other person is Ron MacLean, a dear friend that I met several years ago when we were both in the inaugural Launch Lab sessions at GrubStreet in Boston. His new book of short stories is We Might As Well Light Something On Fire, and it’s wildly inventive, genre-bending, astute, funny and warm, all of which makes me so happy to get to chat with him at the legendary Newtonville Books. We’re going to read from each other’s collections, and talk about something I like contemplating (and have been mulling recently), which is curiosity. What is curiosity, exactly, how does it function, why does it exist and how do we both use it (or does curiosity use us maybe) and how do we write with it? I want to find out what he thinks of all that, especially since his stories do the sort of bendy things I like to see stories do, and we both write with a certain openness toward boundaries (some might say disregard, but that’s not quite right, since to play with boundaries, it seems to me, is to regard them).