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My Jane Austen Summer
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Category Archives: Jane Austen
Kathryn Stockett spoke to a standing room only crowd in a huge church sanctuary because there wasn’t enough room anywhere else in Dallas for her rock-star crowd. We were totally with her when she began reading from a pile of rejection letters. She named names, and what could we do but laugh at the stupidity of the agents and editors who rejected THE HELP. We loved imagining how they must be kicking themselves, no longer able to trust their judgment, mortified and embarrassed before the entire literary world.
by Rebecca Reynolds
In her book The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Janet Malcolm talks about reading a biography of Plath by Anne Stevenson. Malcolm found that the quotations from Plath’s poetry in the book spoke more strongly than the biographical part: ‘the voices began to take over the book and to speak to the reader over the biographer’s head. They whispered “Listen to me, not to her. I am authentic.”’
Previously published on Girlfriends Book Club
Since we are discussing setting I will reluctantly work past my discomfort to share, not only how I obtained realistic details to create the manor house in my novel, but also how a sense of poetic entitlement caused me to behave badly. Ahem. (Sound of me clearing throat). I avoided arrest and have purposely omitted names in this post in order to protect myself.
I Skyped from my office. “Happy birthday!” I said. Clearly her house was full of revelers and I struggled to hide my embarrassment. “I’m sorry to interrupt your party.”
“Nonsense, Jane Austen said, “You’ve saved me the trouble of inviting you.”
I fell into the awkward lull.
“Don’t fret, you’re not the only guest to arrive via Skype,” she said. “We just hung up with Mark Twain.”
“But he’s dead.” Her guests looked oddly familiar. “Is that Charlotte Bronte?” I asked.
Jane turned to look. “Yes,” she said.