Jayson Greene: ‘Everyone is a Griever Now on Some Level’
In Conversation with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review Podcast
On how he hopes readers can find comfort in his story:
Jayson Greene: While grief is always a part of everyone’s life, and while it’s always a part of the cultural conversation, what’s happened since has changed everything for me about how I think about it. It’s felt perverse and sad and sick for my book to be coming back out again in the middle of such massive death, but also it has this underlying resonance. There is so much grief happening. Everyone is a griever now on some level… I hope that someone right now could read it and find something comforting in it given the current circumstances.
On the empathy he feels for others:
Maris Kreizman: I remember a year ago I went Books Are Magic for your presentation of the book, and that was a profound experience. I was worried I was going to cry because it was all about me. You talk about how grief can make the person you’re talking to more self-centered than they should be.
Jayson Greene: It’s funny that you say that because I think what I feel the most for anyone in that situation is empathy. I even felt it in the moment, when someone was looking me in the eyes and didn’t know what to say, it was impossible for me to comfort them because they were supposed to comfort me. But I also wanted to say, “I don’t know what to say to me. I don’t know what anyone should say to me right now.” It doesn’t matter what you say, to a certain extent. You will say something wrong. You will say something stupid and you’ll think about it later and wish you hadn’t. But what matters to the person you’re talking to is that you’re standing there.
Jayson Greene is a music writer and the author of Once More We Saw Stars.
Recommended Reading: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa