Nathaniel Tower writes fiction, teaches English, and manages the online lit magazine Bartleby Snopes. His short fiction has appeared in over one hundred online and print magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His
story “The Oaten Hands” was named one of 190 notable stories by storySouth’s Million Writers Award in 2009. His
first novel, A Reason To Kill, was released in July 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing. Visit him at bartlebysnopes.com/ntower.htm.
Someday someone will write my biography. He’ll spend years researching my life and interviewing the people who knew me. He will dig and dig and find nothing extraordinary and nothing worth reading or writing about. The interviewees will have mixed responses, but none will say I was great or horrible. One person who’s trying to be clever will say I was tall but not as tall as my name suggested. Another will make up something amazing I did because he will think it’s what he’s supposed to do, but the biographer will uncover the lie and remove the entry, which will have been the only entry, from his journal. He will call his publisher and say he can’t finish the biography because there is nothing to write about, but the publisher will tell him it’s nonsense and my story is one every man can relate to. And the author will eventually just sit at his computer and pound out twenty-three chapters about my life, starting with my birth and ending with this great picture of me he found where I’m playing with my daughter and we’re both smiling and it says it all. The publisher will be right that every man can relate to it, but few will read it and even fewer will finish it. The critics will call it the dullest thing they’ve ever read, and it won’t even be ranked in the top million books on Amazon. Some will think I would be insulted by all this, but I wasn’t the author. He’s the one who should be ashamed. Then I’ll read the free copy the publisher gave me and get about halfway through and shrug and say it’s not as bad as everyone says it is. Then I’ll go check Facebook, if it’s still around.