This morning I found a faded copy of a newspaper photo, certainly from the old Society Page of a Richmond Virginia daily, showing a group of three young people, two men and a woman, marching down Monument Avenue in that city, the broad magisterial artery where the greats of the Confederacy are memorialized in huge marble statues.
Having drawn all she could from that source, desperate to go to college, for which she would have to have a scholarship (none of the women in her family had ever dreamed of college), she “dropped out” in the most literal sense, leaving not only school but her mother’s crowded household to go as a sort of nonpaying border to an exceptionally gifted playwright and producer from New York, whose influence would be supreme.
Now that my next book, my thirteenth or fourteenth—I’ve lost track—is only a month away from publication by Sarabande Books, I’m thinking of the three women whose lives my book attempts to encompass: my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother.
The first review of my next book, “The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters”, is just in from the prestigious Kirkus Reviews from which many libraries order.
The long waits publishing entrails always make me wonder why writers sometimes refer to their new books as their children; surely no pregnancy lasts two years or more, and few professional writers wait to see their next book launched before laboring mightily to begin the next one.