Perhaps younger siblings always imitate the firstborn, going back to those burnt offerings outside of Eden. But in the Gioia household, this didn’t happen on a baseball diamond or football field. In our unusual family, the process played out slowly on blank sheets of paper.
So many years later, Dana is still a popular teacher at colleges and writing workshops, and I make no claim for preeminence among his pupils. But if he was my first teacher, I was also his first student.
I certainly gave him useful experience in correcting almost every mistake a writer can make. Give me credit at least for that.
I always envied Dana’s stylish and seemingly artless manner of expression. How does he achieve that relaxed, confident balance of humor and observation, erudition and reminiscence, storytelling and instruction?
That’s a long way of introducing Dana’s latest piece, a boyhood memoir about music in the latest issue of The Hudson Review.