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Taisia Kitaiskaia, Age 7

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet and the author of Literary Witches, forthcoming as a book from Hachette/Seal. She wrote and illustrated this story, “Why There Are Lunchrooms,” at the age of seven.

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— Taisia Kitaiskaia, Age 7

Taisia Kitaiskaia

“My family moved to southern California from Siberia when I was five, so when I was seven we were all still assimilating, watching The Simpsons and The X-Files on Fox over bowls of borscht. Aliens were a fact, and when a water pipe burst under the apartment lawn to create a bulbous, grassy waterbed, I realized that a UFO had impregnated the lawn with alien babies. I prodded the extraterrestrial incubator during the day and watched it from my bedroom window at night. Otherwise I biked aggressively around the neighborhood wearing a helmet covered in fishes, and made illustrated stories like the following for my parents’ friends when they came over. I’d hand the creations over just as the guests were leaving, then run upstairs and hide.”