Three years ago, I set out to write a novel about Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre. Since Columbine, I have held an unhealthy interest in the way the media, and by extension, the greater moralizing population, processes mass killings. Cho was a Korean-American from the South who had entered college with dreams, however mangled and bizarre, of becoming a writer. That same sentence could have been written about me.
— Jay Caspian Kang, in the Awl, talking about not making sense of violent tragedies.