"The first time I read Virginia Woolf, it was for extraliterary reasons. I knew she had gone mad. I wanted to know how, exactly. Some dark wing was crossing over me that fall. The middle register of experience had abruptly fallen away. I didn’t need to sleep anymore, it seemed. My brain buzzed and whirred in terrifying ways. Everything seemed connected to everything else, but in ways I didn’t dare try to explain. I was seventeen, I think, eighteen maybe. I worked an early shift at a bakery, and I’d ride there on my bike before dawn, the whoosh of the darkness soft and creaturely around me. Why are you crying for no reason? I’d think, brushing my hands across my face."