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Writer Of The Week: Anne Theriault

‘I don’t think I would be able to process thoughts or feelings without writing.’

Great writers function as guides, taking your hand and gripping it tight as they navigate you through their narrative, even when there are unexpected turns or ventures deep into the woods. If you feel lost while reading, it’s because the writer has released their grip, forgetting to keep you close.

Anne Theriault knows how to never let go.

In part, this is because Anne is so finely skilled; her command of structure and language is superb, ensuring readers stay fully invested in what she writes. But there’s more to it than that — Anne’s stories are also captivating because she writes with such an evident sense of wonder and curiosity.

Don’t believe us? Check out her history-rich treatise on the feminist power of witches, or lengthy and free-ranging dialogue with a Catholic nun, or thoughtful exploration of America’s long legacy of hate through the lens of a road trip.

While you’re at it, go ahead and read this and this and this and this, too. With a guide like Anne, you’re sure to enjoy the journey.

Below, Anne shares her thoughts on ballet, changelings, and Canadian bagels.

You can generally find me writing in a public library on a macbook air while desperately trying not to check Twitter.

The writers that have most influenced my life are Sylvia Plath, Colette, and Rosemary Sutcliff.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is a symptom of how our society undervalues the arts and also just plain unethical.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is ballet lessons. Is that cool? I’m not sure. It seems cool to me. [Editor’s note: Yes. It’s cool.]

My most listened to song of all time is “Metal Heart” by Cat Power.

My 18-year-old self would feel pretty ok, I think, about where I am today.

I like writing for The Establishment because they pay decently and they’re always into my weirdest pitches.

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be bagels and lox, but specifically Montreal bagels.

If I could give the amazing people who sponsor stories anything in the world to express my gratitude, it would be a signed first-edition copy of their favorite book.

The story I’m working on now is about reading Girl, Interrupted during my stay in a psychiatric ward. You know, a really light puff piece kinda thing.

The story I want to write next is about changeling mythology.

Writing means this to me: Writing is how I figure things out. It’s like taking a tangled skein of wool and slowly unsnarling it until I can lay it out in one straight line to get from the beginning of a thought to the end of it. I often don’t properly know how I feel about something until I sit down to write about it. I don’t think I would be able to process thoughts or feelings without writing; it’s really that integral to how I interact with the world.