Alison Kinney is the author of the new book Avidly Reads Opera. The book draws on excerpts from Alison’s previous writing about opera, but also incorporates plenty of new material. Her work on music, culture, and history has appeared at the New Yorker, VAN Magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, and many more.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I started writing nonfiction about seven years ago, after a long stint of writing novels that my agents couldn’t sell. I jumped headfirst into essays, then reporting, then pitching my first book. I started teaching nonfiction workshops as a freelancer and adjunct, then applied for a tenure-track job. Once I was set there, I was able to concentrate on this new book. This all sounds like it was a smooth, linear progression, but it also involved a divorce, some years of very rocky precarity, illness, and a lot of lost opportunities. There’s so much writing I didn’t do during these years, and so many things I could have done a LOT better.
Can you please briefly describe the book?