Let’s start here: I have a pen pal in England. We started writing each other when we were probably 10 or 11. Somewhere thereabouts. We’ve never met, because I’ve never been outside the country and she’s been to lots of places but never where I am. We have a habit of sending each other fun books to read for birthdays and Christmas. It’s just what we do.
This year, for Christmas she gave me a book called Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I took AP English Literature this year, so I didn’t have a lot of time for books that I chose to read. I just started reading Good Omens a couple weeks ago, and I just finished it today (usually, I’m a much faster reader, but life happens).
Yesterday, the world lost Terry Pratchett. He was 66 years old and had written at least 50 books for children, teenagers, and adults.
I didn’t know him, of course. He was somewhere in Britain, I think, and here I am, decisively not in Britain.
But I knew him through his books.
They are funny and deep at once, speculating on life and death through the mouth of the Wee Free Men and of Miss Tick and Miss Treason and of Tiffany Aching; speaking about our world by building his own. They feel personal, even in their generalizations.