Archive for November, 2011

November 16, 2011

I’ve had a heady last couple of weeks – first, reading from and discussing my essay, “The One Who Breaks My Heart,” from Erica Jong’s new anthology SUGAR IN MY BOWL: REAL WOMEN WRITE ABOUT REAL SEX, at the Flannery O’Connor House in Savannah. Many thanks to writer Lisa Solod, who immediately added her thoughtful response to our discussion to her blog, “There’s Beauty in Truth,” the next day. To read Lisa’s inspiring piece, go to

Then last weekend, I participated in the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, where I led an all-day Zona Rosa workshop on Writing Your Memoir for a wonderful, receptive group (some of whom are now forming a Baton Rouge Sub Rosa group, based on the principles we use in Zona Rosa!), and spoke on “What Is Zona Rosa?” and what makes it work.

David Madden, old friend and Pulitzer nominee, who reviewed my first memoir, Fatal Flowers, way back when, and who was a support and inspiration to me from the first was there with his new novel, Adbucted by Circumstance, it was exciting to see him again, rehash old times, and have him introduce my presentation.

Next, I moderated a panel with three outstanding memoirists, Minrose Gwin, author of the exquisite WISHING FOR SNOW, Mark Richard, author of  the oh-so-moving HOUSE OF PRAYER Number 2, and Andre Dubus ll, author of the NYT best selling memoir, TOWNIE.  The latter event especially thrilled my heart, since I had read Mark’s book last summer and recommended it as a model of second-person writing at our annual Zona Rosa retreat at Tybee Island, near Savannah, and had already – at the first possible moment – stayed up late to read Andre’s book, which was just as riveting as I expected it to be, even before I knew that I was to moderate the panel and actually meet them! (Yes, I’m as star-struck at meeting writers I admire as anyone else! And meeting Andre was especially meaningful, as I had met his famous father, the famous writer Andre Dubus II when I taught in Bradford, Mass, and lived in the same area in which Andre grew up.)

For information on this wonderful festival (and in case you’d like to attend next year), go to

And next week, I’m off to New Orleans for one of my most beloved literary festivals, Words and Music, a Literary Feast, to read and speak and lead, along with my friend, Michael Murphy, a workshop on writing the essay. I was also the judge for the essay competition this year, and had the pleasure of selecting the winner and runners-up in the blind competition, one of whom, it turned out to my delight, was Zona Rosan Ellen Ann Fentress! I’m also especially pleased that talented Atlanta Zona Rosan Parul Hinzen will be attending. To learn more about this wonderful Festival, and the William Wisdom-William Faulkner awards in the novel, novel-in-progress, essay, poetry and short story, go to

This year a theme will be global influences, and if you haven’t read, THE PARIS WIFE, by Paula McLain, the novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, please do. (I’m also currently rereading Ernest Hemingway’s A MOVEABLE FEAST, about his early years in Paris, and LA SEDUCTION: HOW THE FRENCH PLAY THE GAME OF LIFE, by Elaine Sciolino — though I haven’t yet made much headway as I promised earlier this year, on FRENCH FOR DUMMIES.)

Because of all this, I’m feeling especially blessed – I only wish you all could be there!

© Rosemary Daniell 2011