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  • andrewsingerchina

Life Imitating Art

This morning life intersected with art.

I began writing a novel four years ago. Historical fiction. I researched. I went on a writing retreat. I crafted 100 pages of a very rough first draft. It was a struggle for my nonfiction brain. And since then, it has sat.

My protagonist is a man who suffers a grievous loss. In response, he quits his job (a banker) and becomes a security guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. From there, hopefully, intrigue and new life take shape between the modern day and eighteenth-century China.

To make my tale more realistic, I wanted to know what the life of a museum security guard is like. Here was a problem. I know museum curators. I know museum docents. I know museum administrators. I do not, however, know museum security guards.

We have now arrived at the point of this anecdote.

This morning I woke early, watched the sunrise over my backyard, and suddenly thought of my publisher-editor who had been helping me with my novel. I have not thought of my novel in a long time.

I then went to my cell phone to peruse the morning news and the stories that the Google algorithms think I will find interesting. This headline leaped out and smacked me in the face:

Seriously? This man, Patrick Bringley, lost his brother in 2008. He then quit his job (events department at The New Yorker) and became a security guard at The Met for a decade. He has now written a memoir of his experiences.

Life intersecting with art. It seems there is a book I need to read. And one I need to write.


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