Monday, 4 February 2013

Guest Post - Gabrielle Arrowsmith

Everyone please give a warm welcome to Gabrielle, who has kindly written a guest post for Lost to Books!

The Draw of Dystopias

Humans often develop the strongest bond with and understanding of one another after sharing prolonged or profound suffering. Pain and sorrow are things that we all must experience at some time in our lives. In a way, we are grateful when we do not have to face them alone. 

As readers, we immerse ourselves into the lives of the characters who live in our cherished books. We come to cherish them. In the dystopian genre in particular, we find ample ground for suffering and fear which our dear ones face. The fear pulls our hearts into theirs and the suffering knots the two together, binding us to the heroes before they emerge. We feel frustrated by the oppression they suffer, we relate to their fears, and we contemplate their choices in the face of adversity. Ultimately, we grow with these characters. Sometimes, we connect so strongly with a character and/or their situation that we find it difficult to let them go after we've finished reading. We're desperate for more because, like the characters, we become the strongest and feel the most fulfilled after we've lived through our weakest moments and conquered anyone who aims to make us feel that way.

I believe dystopian novels will be forever powerful as their relevance to human existence cannot be challenged. 

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. 
Friedrich Nietzsche

Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than those who are most content. –Bob Dylan

Concealed in the ShadowsAbout the Author

Gabrielle Arrowsmith was born to her loving mother, father, and older brother on August 16th, 1988. She grew up in the small town of Ham Lake, MN enjoying soccer, school, and adventuresome play with her brother and cousins (who were much like siblings).

As she grew older, her desire to write led her to fill many diaries and notebooks with her thoughts, poems, stories, and scripts, some of which were even turned into rudimentary short films. Some of her other adolescent hobbies included reading, playing soccer, acting, and playing piano.

Gabrielle recalls her junior year in high school as the time when she first believed in the worth of her writing. Her AP course that year both challenged and celebrated her craft. Aiming for perfection caused her to slave over her work, but only so much as to allow time for her other college-level courses, soccer, track, National Honor Society, and school plays.

From 2006-2009 she attended the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN where she earned a degree in Elementary Education with minors in mathematics and Spanish language. She played collegiate soccer for the Saints, volunteered often, worked two on-campus jobs, and acted in three theater productions.

For the past three years, Gabrielle has taught third through sixth graders in various school settings. The relationships she has formed with her students have been very meaningful. However, after rediscovering her passion for storytelling (through both writing and acting) during the summer of 2012, Gabrielle recently decided to transition to day-to-day substitute teaching in order to pursue both of these creative outlets. She will follow these passions wherever they take her. She also continues to enjoy both playing and coaching soccer.

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