Short, thoughtful interview with an author who left science to pursue Story.
The natural world is a source of wonder and even horror for Jennifer Percy, author of Demon Camp, but science can only explain so much. After Percy read Lawrence Sargent Hall’s “The Ledge” for the first time in college, she dropped her physics major—and started asking questions about story, memory, and narrative. Stories, she now says—invented, reported—better capture the full, complex reality of human beings and our surrounding universe.
….To continue with the story, the language of physics didn’t help me bridge that gap. There was an emptiness that physics couldn’t help me dispel. Stories could, though. Talking to people wasn’t enough, but if I could visit a world, and be held there in its arms, then I could invite others inside and maybe they could be held there too. So I changed my major from Physics to English. I think I actually cried when I filed the paperwork—it was that scary to give up my whole plan and start on something new. But I was able to articulate writing something important I’d never been able to say on my own before. And, of course, that’s what literature does.