Franz Kafka has been a part of Grinovich's life since she was 12. "I'd always written crazy, weird stories, short stories as a kid — they were always kind of dark, [but] not very well-written," she says. "My dad noticed . . . what I was leaning toward in my writing, so he got me Franz Kafka's short stories and I was just blown away."

Grinovich, who comes from a family of artists, feels the tattoo is a tribute to them, too. "It's just really nice for me to think back and think, 'Oh, my dad knew who I was even back then' and he was encouraging this kind of weird, creative side to me . . . when some parents would say, 'Oh, she needs help.' And that kind of got the ball rolling for me to be a writer."

After receiving her BFA in creative writing from Pratt and spending a few post-collegiate years in New York City working for Spin, Grinovich returned to Boston to work on her writing and as a baker for True Grounds in Somerville. "I never wanted a job where I couldn't be completely myself," she says, "and I never wanted to have to cover up who I was."

Her tattoo helps Grinovich stay focused on her writing. "This tattoo is kind of forcing me to become disciplined; looking down at it every day, thinking, 'I have to write every day,'" she says. "I'm out of school. I'm a baker. You don't have teachers and professors pushing you anymore."

Grinovich's dedication codifies a universal truth of those with literary tattoos. "I wear my heart on my sleeve."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: Fall Books Preview: Getting booked, Interview: Maya Angelou shares her wisdom, Whitcomb's legacy, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Poetry, Shel Silverstein, literature,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IS BOSTON RIGHT FOR WRITERS?  |  March 05, 2013
    Boston, the birthplace of American literature, boasts three MFA programs, an independent creative-writing center, and more than a dozen colleges offering creative-writing classes.
    George Saunders: satirist, humanist, and — after 20 years, four magisterial short story collections, a novella, and a book of essays — now a bestselling author.
  •   INTERVIEW: THE PASSION OF MIKE DAISEY  |  February 14, 2013
    Last January, storyteller Mike Daisey achieved a level of celebrity rarely attained among the off-Broadway set when the public radio program This American Life aired portions of his monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs .
  •   GETTING BOOKED: WINTER READS  |  December 21, 2012
    Who cares about the fiscal cliff when we'll have authors talking about Scientology, the space-time continuum, and Joy Division?
  •   BRILLIANT FRIENDS: GREAT READS OF 2012  |  December 17, 2012
    You already know Chis Ware's Building Stories is the achievement of the decade (thanks, New York Times!), but some other people wrote some pretty great books this year too.

 See all articles by: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON