In Bomb Magazine April 2018, Miriam Rahmani interviews her friend and poet Jenny Xie. It's a lovely interview.
I loved what she said about reading because I relate to it so much. She says "Reading is migratory, an act of transport, from one life to another, one mind to another. Just like geographic travel, reading involves estrangement that comes with the process of dislocating from a familiar context. I gather energy from this kind of movement, this estranging and unsettling, and I welcome it precisely because it’s conducive to examination, interrogation, reordering. Travel, imaginative or physical, can sharpen perception and force a measuring of distance and difference."Reading took me places I couldn't go, let me be the heroine I didn't feel I could be in my own skin, led me on adventures that at times left me weeping, at others intrigued or full of mirth. I still love a good puzzle to be solved. I loved the school library during the school year and the book-mobile during the summer. I always checked out as many books as allowed and read them all. When visiting my grandma, I would peruse her bookshelf of Reader's Digest condensed books and pick up what sounded most interesting. That was how I learned about Tsar Alexander and his family. I am grateful for the writers who have painstakenly written and published those books, books that have vastly expanded my horizons, books that have changed my life.