“Late Have I Taught You”
Whenever I told people I wanted to study English, they would invariably reply, “So you want to be a teacher.” I would laugh—ha!—and tell them I’d never be a teacher. I wanted to be a great novelist.
Apparently, they knew more than I did.
After a decade of trying out various careers—reporting, ad sales, insurance, editing, and even a stint doing various part-time jobs—I found myself applying at a high school in tiny Holcomb, Kansas.
Other than its proximity to Garden City, where my wife and I settled after grad school, I think what drew me most to Holcomb is its literary history. The sight of the Clutter murders, Holcomb became famous after Truman Capote and Harper Lee visited and Capote forged a new genre, the nonfiction novel, with that tragedy at its heart. As an aspiring mystery writer, I felt…
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