Michael Fauver has always been a storyteller. Instead of his parents reading him bedtime stories, he made up his own. In the fourth grade, he attended writing conferences with his teacher and knew that one day he would be a novelist.
After graduation, Fauver, 23, will be spending a month at Yaddo, a prestigious artists’ community in upstate New York, where he can begin working on his first novel.
“It sounds so Walden-esque. An artists’ community,” Fauver said. “So few people can make a living as an artist, but you go to Yaddo to just be an artist. You don’t have to worry about the strains of everyday life.”
Inspired by Salman Rushdie and Jonathan Safran Foer, he has taken an interest in magical realism. His novel, tentatively titled “Why I Won’t Remember Who You Are,” will explore the story of a single town and the underpinnings of history in the making.
“Magical realism lets me break free of what I always thought a story should be. It can be crazy and wild, but believable and human all at the same time,” Fauver said.
After a month at Yaddo, Fauver (who describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s sentences as “gorgeous”) wants to do something traumatic. He will be traveling around Southeast Asia for a while, but also wants to do something, as one professor advised him, where “bullets whiz past your face.” Maybe he will work at a morgue for a while, he said jokingly, or join the Peace Corps. He said he plans to do something that will give him the type of life experiences that he can wring out and redesign into plots and characters.
Fauver, editor in chief of the student literary magazine Wooden Teeth, grew up in a household of music and creativity. His family was that “dorky family that sings in the van on vacation.” He studied piano for two years at the University of Michigan before coming to GW. His twin brother is studying musical theater and his sister is in her high school marching band. But other than music, what really makes him tick is the energy jolt he gets when writing.
For those spontaneous thoughts or great sentences that pop into his head, he carries a small turquoise-green notepad to jot them down; otherwise they are lost forever. He keeps another notebook full of sentences that begin with “What if.” The what if’s then become story ideas.
“When I think about things I want to write I get physically excited,” Fauver said. “People want to read stuff that excites them. I mean, who wants to look at boring art? It should be an experience.”