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Thursday, June 14, 2018

What Writer's Block?

“There's no writer's block; there's only distraction.” – Carolyn Chute

Born on this date in 1947, Chute is a populist political activist strongly identified with the culture of poor, rural western Maine.   Her first, and best known, novel, The Beans of Egypt, Maine, was published in 1985 and made into a 1994 film of the same name, directed by Jennifer Warren. Chute's has two other books, Letourneau's Used Auto Parts and Merry Men also set in the town of Egypt, Maine.

“I never wanted to be a writer. I still don't,” Chute said, and yet she has been honored with several major writing awards and two major writing fellowships, one from Guggenheim and another from the Thornton Wilder Foundation.       She also devotes considerable time and support to the New England Literature Program, offering both creative writing workshops and the study of many of New England’s greatest writers.

“Whenever I write, I write what I find to be the way people are,” Chute said.  “I never use any symbolism at all, but if you write as true to life as you possibly can, people will see symbolism. They'll all see different symbolism, but they're apt to because you can see it in life.”

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