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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Opening Portals For The Reader

 “I never know how to give advice to a writer because there's so much you could say, and it's hard to translate your own experience. But of course, I always try. The main thing that I usually end up saying is to read a lot. To read a great deal and to learn from that.” – Sue Monk Kidd


Monk Kidd, born in Georgia on this date in 1948, is perhaps best known for her first novel The Secret Life of Bees, the story of a white girl who runs away from home to live with her deceased mother's former black nanny, an independent bee-keeper and honey-maker.  This terrific book – a wonderful study of relationships and understanding – also has been made into both a movie and Broadway play.


After working as a Registered Nurse and nursing instructor, Monk Kidd switched to writing after she had an essay published in Guideposts and reprinted in Readers’ Digest.   A second successful career as a magazine and memoir writer segued into popular   fiction with 2002’s    publication of Bees, and she equaled that success with 2014’s The Invention of Wings, a novel based on the life of Sarah Grimké, a 19th-century abolitionist and women's rights pioneer.  Her latest is The Book of Longings, published in April.

Monk Kidd keeps a daily journal that she says is a great help in her writing process. “Particularly when I get the ideas, and I am trying to brood over the chaos phase,” she said. “In writing a novel, you really have to brood over a lot of chaos of ideas and possibilities.”  
   “I want my words to open a portal through which the reader may leave the self, migrate to some other human sky and return 'disposed' to otherness.”



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