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Lives Into Words

Yasmin DaSilva ’19 would love to have 24 hours every day to write.

“I need most of the day to procrastinate, and then I get to writing,” says the English major, minoring in Ancient & Classical Studies and Creative Writing. “I would love to be able to write every day and just focus on that. I’m studying to be a professor, but if I’m being honest, I want to be an author.”

And a novel is well underway in Earlham’s Advanced Writing Workshop. DeSilva's hope is to wrap it up soon.

“I like being surprised,” says the Earlham junior, who began reading Stephen King books in fifth grade. “I had to look outside the school agenda for books because what I found there was really boring. I like Stephen King’s older work. People think he writes about scary things. But to me, it’s not scary. It’s unsettling, and I appreciate the power of an author to unsettle me.”

Another favorite book is Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal winning fantasy book Tale of Despereaux.

“It is the exact kind of storytelling that I love with several stories coming together in the end. Good writing can hook me into a story, but the characters drive me more. I will keep reading if a plot is iffy and the characters are great, but I won’t keep reading if I can’t get invested in the characters. My book has four main characters and a good narrator voice to the point that the narrator is the fifth character. I’m really interested in character development, and I need to work on my setting.”

Dasilva, who won Earlham’s Anna Eves Award, which honors excellence in the use of the English language and the appreciation of literature, will have a short story in the campus literary journal, The Crucible.

Dasilva reads a lot and reads very quickly, finishing the longest Harry Potter book in just a few hours.

“My mother can read really fast, and sometimes we read the same book and raced to see who could finish first.”

Dasilva also enjoys old books from antique stores.

“I love if it there are handwritten notes from a previous owner. I read the notes in the margins first to get a feel for the person.”

Teaching college students is more attractive to Dasilva.

“I would rather teach at a college because there’s more freedom in talking with students.”

“I think words can mean a lot. One tiny word can set me off onto something entirely different. Words can mean a lot more than they appear on paper.”

Yasmin DaSilva

Yasmin DaSilva 2019

Hometown: Hampstead, North Carolina

Major at Earlham: English

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