Let other stories pour in.

I was reading the book What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg with my son recently.  It tells kids about the nuts and bolts, sperm and eggs make babies, but it intentionally leaves out how the sperm and the egg meet to open the conversation for each kid to discuss the facts in the context of their own lives. If they were adopted or conceived by IVF or through their parents, the story will naturally be different.  It impressed me because it didn't shy away from terminology but also left some space for different stories about how babies come into the world into the loving arms of different kinds of families.

Afterwards, I thought about the literary device you encounter in some books that involves leaving some stuff out, letting the reader fill in the blanks. Instead of applying themselves to detailing every piece of glitter on the emperor's new clothes, a writer chooses to focus on characters and plot and leaves details roughly sketched, letting me do that work.

I might imagine a red gown with spiders of sequins pouring down it, you might envision a green one, encrusted with crystals.  Isn't that marvellous?

Some stories are told only to open a crack so other stories can pour in.





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