It’s a long story involving a hated high school English teacher and my first published piece in a newspaper, but, after ten years, I finally got around to reading Tim O’Brian’s The Things They Carried.
Highly recommended to all, which I expected—but not for the reasons I expected. Yes, it’s a great set of war stories, but an even greater set of meditations on storytelling. As he realizes, through stories, the absent become present, and fictions become real.
Go find it. You won’t regret it.