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Why He Became a Reader

In A Velocity of Being, a collection of letters to young readers, writer Alexander Chee offers reasons as to why he became a reader himself. This is part of a complete episode.


A former West Virginian reports that she grew up hearing a strange word: charny. In her part of the country, she says, it means “dirty” or “filthy,” and she always heard it pronounced “chee-YAR-nee.” This is part...