In 1995, as a student at the University of Texas, I came upon a writer in Austin named Marion Winik. Her essays appeared in the Austin Chronicle at the time. She had recently published a collection of essays called Telling and, not long after I discovered her, she came out with First Comes Love.
I laughed or cried every time I read her. She was the first author I read who felt and sounded like a real person. She wrote often about love and heartache, which seemed inextricably woven for her at the time, and I so wanted those experiences for myself that I lapped up every word. Mostly though, I loved reading about anything in the words of a woman so genuine that I wanted to sit and visit with her over coffee for hours upon end.
Marion Winik is a huge part of why I love to read and why I love to write. I learned through her writing that what I most love to read – what I respect most – is honest writing, no matter the subject.
Marion Winik now lives in Baltimore. This morning, I read one of her essays in the Baltimore Fishbowl. It’s called “Little Sweetheart of the Boston Strangler.” It’s about love. It’s funny. It’s honest. If you have never read her, you should. She’s a hoot, and, though many years have passed since I first read her, I still find myself lapping up every word.