The news hit me like a brick. More appropriately, it hit me as if someone had hurled a thick book at my forehead. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is one of the reasons I’m a writer today. In high school, my Honors English teacher handed me the book for an assignment. We had a week or so to read it; I devoured it in about three days.
Bradbury terrified me. His words pulled me headfirst into Guy Montag’s nightmare pleasure-land, and made me believe in it. When I closed that book, and went back to high school, Bradbury’s vision came with me. I saw kids shuffling along with backpacks and iPods, shunning books wherever they could. Eyes wide, I wondered whether I was already living in dystopia.
I don’t think we are yet, now that I’m older. But Bradbury’s questions continue to chase me. I think they will for the rest of my life. If I can ask questions as potent as he did, I will consider my job.
Losing him is a grievous wound for America and for the world. Honor him!”
Excerpted from the Tumblr.