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(Re-)Introducing Alek!

Hi there!

I’m Aleksandra Fazlipour, although I typically go by Alek. Chad introduced me before, but I finally got registered as a contributor to the site, so it’s my turn to do it again!

I started doing an independent study at Open Letter in January in an attempt to fill out a Creative Writing minor that I took alongside two degrees: one in Brain and Cognitive Science, and the other in Linguistics. I’ve always loved to read, and I’m a native speaker of Polish, so it just seemed natural to get some credits for reading and reviewing translated works.

I expected to like it.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. It was classwork, after all. . .

But all of a sudden, my assignments didn’t feel like homework anymore. Granted, it was terrifying at first to have my reviews ripped to shreds by Chad, but I got over that quickly, and I still am surprised and exhilarated whenever I see one of my own reviews online. And they are much better than they started out as, courtesy of all of Chad’s advice!

So when the opportunity to intern at Open Letter was presented to me, I snatched it right up.

Now, having graduated from the University of Rochester, here I am! I’ll be taking over as the threepercent book review editor until the end of August.

If what I’ll be doing for the rest of the summer is anything like what I’ve been doing thus far, it’ll include a lot of coffee-drinking and copious soaking-up-of incredible books. It’s an added bonus to be able to get an early peek at the wonderful reviews I’ll be posting throughout the summer.

Sometimes I also stick labels to books and envelopes and send out stuff. Surprisingly, I enjoy that. It reminds me of sticker books.

Some random things about me: I bop around Open Letter wearing teddy bear sweaters and blouses embroidered to look like a Lite Brite. And I wear big glasses. I am often hard to overlook. In my free time I write short stories. I am handy with spreadsheets. I like kittens until I start sneezing because of said kittens, and then I like them decidedly less. Sometimes I’m too brutally honest for my own good and for other people’s feelings. It hasn’t become a huge problem yet. Nothing wrong with being passionate, right? I’d like to think it shows in my reviews.

Most of all though, I really adore working at Open Letter, and I hope that shows too! Feel free to comment here or send me an email (Aleksandra.fazlipour@gmail.com) if you have any questions or concerns about any of my posts, or if you just want to chat! I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

‘Til then, enjoy threepercent!



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