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What Have You Learned from Re-Reading Your Diary?

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Sheila Heti's new book is called “Alphabetical Diaries.” (Photo credit Sylvia Plachy)

“A little more than 10 years ago, I began looking back at the diaries I had kept over the previous decade. I wondered if I’d changed. So I loaded all 500,000 words of my journals into Excel to order the sentences alphabetically.” That’s how author Sheila Heti describes the origins of the decade-long project that would become her latest book, “Alphabetical Diaries.” When she reviewed those sentences sorted on a spreadsheet, Heti says she found a constant self — one preoccupied across time with the same worries about writing, money and love. We talk to her about what revisiting and reorganizing her diary entries revealed about her own consistencies and contradictions. And we’ll hear from you: What have you learned from re-reading your diaries?


Sheila Heti, author, “Alphabetical Diaries,” “Motherhood,” “Pure Colour” and “How Should A Person Be?”


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