What I see in the Mirror

Mr Martel,

I will keep this brief as I know you have many letters to get to, and less time for idol chat.

I have read many books that have changed how I see the world, my place and others pain, but none more relevantly than how your words have changed how I use my voice to discover a truth in everything I see.

I began my journey with Life of Pi- like many of the others who know you not only by name but reputation- nearly seven years ago after many rambling conversations lead a friend to buy me a copy. I sat and read it cover to cover, openly questioning strangers on their interpretation of Pi's journey. Your novel truly changed how I saw the world and how I interpret my own experiences with faith and humanity. It birthed an openness and breadth of reasoning no religious scripture could.

I know you find it difficult and I have heard it is your least favorite subject -which you have commonly refused to discuss- but my journey was enveloped when shortly after Life of Pi I picked up your first novel "Self". I had recently read the Jeffrey Eugenides novel Middlesex, and I was stuck. I found Eugenides use of gender to be limited, an effect of life, a genetic abnormality. Self changed not only how I viewed the world, travel, sex, gender and sexuality, but also writing, my own life experience and how I viewed myself in its wake. The idea of Self is not as limited as who we are born or what has happened to make us change. We are a collage of our experiences, a word jumble to which our gender, sexuality, emotion, thoughts and body are simply happenings, no more relevant than the photograph we took in Venice. We are not made up of these things they simply are apart of us. Your novel was there when nothing else was.

I then read "The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios" found your title story the most moving, and heartfelt atestment to friendship and loyalty I had read.

You are a brilliant writer and with the release of Beatrice and Virgil you did not disappoint. I am still in the process of reading but can not wait to begin the discussions I know will come from finishing another Yann Martel master piece.

My journey has only begun but because of you I now have a grater understanding of not only what I see when I look in the mirror, but how what I know can change what I choose to see.

Thank you again


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