I had the pleasure of giving a reading at Hugo House in 2015 as part of the Hugo Literary Series. I also gave a master class on the subject of character. I had heard good things about Hugo House for a long time; friends had described their experiences there in glowing terms. What I found was an unusual, warm, interesting community that provides the readers and writers of Seattle with essential services. Hugo House is a destination for many people, an environment that both elevates and exemplifies the complex and vibrant city in which it is located.
As a writer I am so grateful when I travel to a city and find a sanctuary for the arts. We need, more than ever, to preserve and uphold such places; without them, writing might begin to feel like a lost, private art, instead of the connective tissue that brings people together and allows them to develop empathy as they imagine other lives, other ways of thinking. To me, books are not a luxury item, they are urgent. Hugo House respects and supports writers and their work, bringing them in contact with that other amazing resource: readers. It is a wonderful, important place that I am very glad to have visited.
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Meg lives in New York City.