The Book That Changed My Life

H. L. Hix

H. L. Hix, 2006H. L. Hix was a 2006 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry for Chromatic.

I came to reading late, and it was books — plural — that changed my life, but one in particular, Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, offered me distrust. I’d been taught that true stories console; here was another take, that they — these same stories, or any other — might instead raise the stakes on a life. My life. I’d taken others’ word for it that others’ word for it should be taken, that being responsible would ensconce me securely in a community; here was provocation to be egregious — out of the flock — on the premise that obligation and assurance might not match.

H. L. Hix

Photo credit: Nancy M. Stuart