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All of You, by Ryan Schulte

Hello America Stereo Cassette

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All of You was conceived in the first weeks of lockdown, Spring 2020, when Ryan did not know whether he would have to leave his farm job in West Cork and return to a New York that sounded apocalyptic. Its sibling novelette, The Devil (from which “Eliot and Andrew” is an excerpt), was completed long-form in three weeks, while the first bones of All of You were listed sparingly and put aside for months. In those months, Ryan closely read Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, Angela Davis’ Are Prisons Obsolete?, and Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason. He resumed writing All of You on May 15, his mom’s birthday, and the first draft was completed in late July 2020. All of You was written while the protests of Summer 2020 occurred. The distance between Ryan’s desk in rural Ireland--as well as his white settler suburban upbringing--and the civil disobedience rising across the United States and Europe at that time generated much of how the novelette’s white characters deal with race. The anti-love story at the novelette’s center would have been impossible without personal experience, Rilke’s Duino Elegies, Joy Ladin’s Through the Door of Life, and pivotal queer films like Pariah (2011), Weekend (2011), and Keep the Lights On (2012). In the future, Ryan would like to live to see the central political and personal concerns of All of You grow outdated and obsolete.