Author, editor lectures on life abroad

Author and magazine editor Heather Hartley gave a lecture about studies, work and life abroad to students at Marshall University in Old Main Wednesday.

Hartley is the Paris editor for “Tin House” magazine and the author of “Adult Swim” and “Knock Knock” with Carnegie Mellon University Press.

An American living and working in Paris for about 15 years, Hartley said her typical day consists of writing in the mornings, a cup of coffee or two and working on editing jobs in the afternoon.

“I would say one of the major differences would be speaking a foreign language everyday, which I love to do,” Hartley said. “It’s an incredible way to get to know the culture and be a part of the larger idea of what France is.”

Sean Sutherland, a senior Spanish and international business double-major, said after spending a semester in Spain last year, he thought about going back there to teach English.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime and almost like a dream,” Sutherland said. “I really enjoy Spanish language and interacting with people from different cultures.”

Hartley said she always keeps a pen and notebook close at hand, allowing her to write and articulate her travel experiences, whether it be traveling across the street or the world.

“As Gertrude Stein wrote, ‘America is my country and Paris is my hometown,’ in some ways that’s how it is for me, although I do feel at home now both in the States and in Paris,” Hartley said. “It took me a little bit of time to get to that point when I was in Paris with the transitions.”

As a writer, Hartley said the main skills the job call for are persistence and to keep writing daily.

“It doesn’t have to be five or six hours, write daily for an hour and keep the continuity going, because writing is a bridge in some ways into other things,” Hartley said.

Kessyl Lim can be contacted at [email protected].