Jason Lazarus’ Nirvana: Honor in Confusion

May 11, 2007 | 1 book mentioned 1

Noah’s post reminded me that I’ve been meaning to direct readers to an amazing project being undertaken by Chicago-based photographer Jason Lazarus. “The Nirvana Project” asks participants to document, in words and images, the people who turned them on to Nirvana. A gallery of the responses Jason has received so far can be viewed at www.jasonlazarus.com. (click on “images,” then “Nirvana.”)

Jason is contributing a photo to a book I’m doing, and asked me if I wanted to contribute something to “The Nirvana Project” in return. Here’s what I came up with:

The person who introduced me to the band Nirvana was a kid named Jeff Smith, who had a mullet and a habit of peeling skin from his palms and fingers and eating it during class. He wrote, “here we are now, entertain us” on the blackboard of my 7th Grade math classroom. We were the kids who got to math class early, if that says anything about the Nirvana audience.

It even has the virtue of being true. Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a picture of Jeff Smith to go along with the text. But if you’ve got a photo of your Nirvana sherpa, check out Jason’s project statement and participate.

is the author of City on Fire and A Field Guide to the North American Family. In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.

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