The Value of Difficulty

August 28, 2015

“When we read a book that requires that effort — when the act of reading becomes rigorous and self-aware, rather than effortless and transparent — we get to have a history with what we’ve given ourselves to, a history etched into us by the demanding friction of its difficulty.” Zoë Heller and Leslie Jamison debate whether or not we overvalue difficult literature in The New York Times.

is an intern for The Millions. She is the managing editor of Concrete Literary Magazine at Emerson College, where she is pursuing a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. She tweets at @Cara_DuBois.