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ERIC Number: ED401546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Personal Past as Inspiration: Authors Honor Their Life Experiences in Their Stories.
Baghban, Marcia
Ernest Hemingway was wrong. It is not necessary to leave home and go out and experience "Life" in capital letters to have "stuff" about which to write. The daughter of a kindergarten teacher, Louisa May Alcott wrote a book about her family life which became one of the most popular children's classics, "Little Women." All people are storytellers. Life stories order and interpret life events. Listeners/readers sympathize or empathize, and writers explore this when choosing moments from their lives to share with others. Alice Walker, a sharecropper's daughter and author of "The Color Purple," felt ugly, disfigured, and suicidal when she was blinded in a childhood accident. A later poem, "On Sight," spoke of her joy at seeing the African desert. While she was studying at Sarah Lawrence College, pregnancy and a subsequent abortion were inspiration for "Once," her first published book of poetry. One of her professors, the poet Muriel Rukeyser, passed Alice's poems along to her own editor at Harcourt, who later became Alice's editor too. Out of Alice Walker's isolation grew her art, and the written word would sustain her survival, a passionate testimony to the power of the artist to use her art to overcome life's hardest blows. (Contains "On Sight" and 17 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A