Does anyone else dream of applying to a creative writing program and having what you thought was good writing torn to pieces only to be reborn as a voice of your generation? Anyone?
Well, in that dream, Marilynne Robinson is my teacher. I’m reading Housekeeping, or rather, I used Louisville’s library app and downloaded the audiobook, so I’m listening to Housekeeping. In it, two young girls get shuffled from their mother to their grandmother to two great aunts, and finally to Sylvie, their aunt.
It sounds strange to talk about the plot, though, because the whole mood of the book is much more striking than what happens. As only an expert storyteller can, we get swept up in the town, the mystical lake the grandfather died in, the air coming in through the open windows, the smell of the sheets drying on the line, the drama between the bright sunshine of the day and the opaque darkness of the night.
It’s slow. It’s beautiful. It’s definitely something to read before bed snuggled up in that J.Jill dress you bought on sale that kind of looks like a giant dishcloth.
There it is! Write what you know! Which means the following blog posts I write will center on cats, bagels, and Kroger.