Sunday, April 3, 2011

An Indelible Tribute

How do people choose the words they tattoo onto their bodies? I know one answer. In 2009 Tobias Wolff read his great story, Bullet In the Brain, at The Story Prize reading. My son, Asher, who was in 11th grade at the time, was so moved and surprised by the beauty of the ending--the improper colloquial poetry of a phrase repeated three times, they is, they is, they is--that he told me right then he was going to have it tattooed on his arm. It took two years for the plan to come together but today I saw the result.

Below is a link to Tobias Wolff reading Bullet In The Brain, beginning at 1:16.


  1. Very cool. I'm also stirred by that ending. It always catches me off-guard, even though, after so many re-readings, I know it's coming.

    Have you (and Asher) seen this?

  2. I haven't seen this whole book, just photos here and there. Great stuff! It would be so hard to pick, for me.

  3. Just remember who paid for his first tattoo!

  4. Larry, I remember; the 18th b-day tattoo is a WASP tradition.
    Tory, brace yourself! This could happen to you.