Garth Greenwell is the author of the novel What Belongs to You. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and A Public Space. He lives in Iowa City.
Just over a decade ago, in my late twenties, I decided to drop out of a Ph.D. program in literature at Harvard and start a job as a high-school teacher. To my family, this was more than merely another episode . . .