in omitting the authors who have most influenced me and my writing in yesterday’s post.
I still recall hanging on to every word Lillian Hellman read from “Pentimento”, in the mid 1970’s at The University of Arizona, thunderstruck that seemingly ordinary and routine childhood slices of life could be elevated to literature. Ms. Hellman ignited my curiosity for writing in the first person.
Everything written by Alice Walker, but primarily “Color of Purple”, was pure fireworks of the imagination, and “Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou taught me the importance of elegance and non-capitulation within one’s life and dreams. Practicing it is another thing altogether.
Isabel Allende’s, “House of the Spirit” awoke my passion for fiction, and later “Paula” mirrored the depth of anguish from losing our daughter.
Angeles Mastretta hands down triumphs in fashioning kaleidoscope drama in “Arrancame la Vida”. It’s one of the books, I pace with when I’m taking myself too seriously.
I evolved as a woman and writer nourished by Barbara Kingsolver’s words. Mary Karr, David Sedaris, and Jeannette Walls elucidated the value of distance and humor in memoir and gave me the courage to fly my true flag.
In between the final two revisions of Stretch Marks, I read and re-read “Daughter of Earth” by Agnes Smedley and Vivian Gornick’s “The Situation and the Story”. These powerhouses deliver the goods and are fierce proponents of truth in story.
I write with all of them close by.