A West Texas Writer Returns Home from New York, and Finds Himself Pleasantly Unsettled

Jul 13, 2015

Credit Jonathan Baker

Novelist and essayist Jonathan Baker recently returned home to Canyon, Texas, after living in New York City. He was struck by the differences and unexpected similarities between the Big Apple and small-town West Texas. Baker published an essay about his observations in the magazine Colloquium, and he was surprised when the essay went viral.

The essay reads in part: “After a few years of trembling beneath the shining, heavenly ziggurat of the Chrysler Building, I now feel pleasantly unsettled beneath the endless, hollow sky of West Texas. New York and the Texas Panhandle have more in common than you might think. Both places seem to stretch on forever.  And by virtue of their sublime physical natures—New York in its fullness and West Texas in its emptiness—both give off an unwelcoming, at times even disquieting, aura.”

You can find a link to Baker’s essay here.