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An Occasional Post


It's day three of Marthe Jocelyn's blog tour, and hooray, it's my turn. In her intriguing new book, SCRIBBLING WOMEN (Tundra), Marthe asks a lot of questions and ends with even more. Since I myself am an excessively curious person (intrusive, some say), it seemed appropriate to ask Marthe a few questions of my own. (Inspired by the book, I yearned to ask dozens, but I am a reasonable person.)

Marthe looks at the lives and writings of eleven unusual women from all a huge variety of times and places. The first, Sei Shonagon (965-1010), is known for “The Pillow Book,” and the last, Doris Pilkington Garimara (1937-), wrote Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. In between we meet a horse thief (Margaret Catchpole), an explorer (Mary Kingsley), a journalist (Nellie Bly), and a slave turned abolitionist (Harriet Ann Jacobs). These are fascinating stories, each carefully researched and engaging. I wanted more.

Now, here’s Marthe.  Read More 
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Fictoir, Memoir, Memory

Situation: writing workshop. Leader asks participants to describe the bedroom—or the living room—or any room—of the place they lived when they were five. Heads bow and pens scribble or keyboards click.

I cry, or I suddenly need to go to the bathroom, or I begin to whisper and make idiotic remarks to the person next to me as if I were still in Mr. Harrison’s high school biology class, when I and two friends were banished to the back of the room for giggling. (Not for the first time—I was also kicked out of girl scouts for the same reason.)

Why do I react in such a juvenile fashion?  Read More 
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