Oxford comma, or no?
Music you listen to when you write?
Drafting something new: classical guitar. Something I’ve already done: the Simon and Garfunkel station on Pandora
Professor of English
SJU Writes: What writing are you currently working on?
JM: I’m writing an essay on the Bollywood-style movie “Dil Se.” I’m also writing an article version of a paper on “Reunion”–the Google advertisement–where two men, separated by Partition, are reunited by Google. It deals with how we understand India and how Google is integrating into Indian culture.
SJU Writes: Can you describe your writing process?
JM: A lot of flailing, running into dead ends like a brick wall. Reading, more reading, stalling, distraction, grinding out chunks of text, repeating the cycle. When I’m in a groove, I can produce a lot of halfway decent text pretty quickly, but it’s hard to get in a groove when I see all that I still have to learn.
SJU Writes: Is there a certain book, poem or play that has influenced your writing?
JM: I don’t write fiction or poetry, so it’s basically just works of fiction. There’s this book, “The World According to Garp,” that’s really impacted my writing in terms of my writing process and what inspires my creativity. I find that I’m usually influenced by books with perfect endings that I’ll never be able to write about like “100 Years of Solitude” or “Song of Solomon.”
SJU Writes: What do you hope to pass onto your students as an English professor?
JM: I had a professor who always told us to “have fun” with our assignments, and I always put “Good luck and have fun!” at the end of each assignment. Even if the chances of having fun are very slim, well, it’s still an idea. It’s great when I see students working on a topic that they’re passionate about, and I hope they get at least some joy out of their work.
—Jillian Buckley ’20