FROM NOW ON 8 - marsh wren

by Susan Weber

Preparing for the author's talk, I read her book from stem to stern. I didn’t like it. The book shall remain nameless since I have no wish to criticize this seasoned writer. Do I teach English at a posh university, or find half a dozen of my novels in the HarperCollins catalogue and myself interviewed by Scott Simon on NPR? I do not. Does my visitation fill a sizable room with women who hang on my uttered truths, gasp at plot lines for future books, and marvel at my revelation that this story occurred to me in one fell swoop and took a mere four months and spare change to write? Nope again. Who am I to nitpick success?

The thing is, I thoroughly enjoyed her at the book talk. She was good at deflecting gushy praise with easy wit. She explained why she writes: to figure out how she feels about a given complex issue be it race, privilege, or opioid abuse. She spoke her mind and listened when her fans spoke theirs. In short, she engineered engaging conversation.

I’ll try another title by this author who never lets ambition, which anyone who spends the treasure of her days producing art must have, show up as hubris. If anything, seeing her in person toned down my own hubris. Her savvy intellect invited trust. Well done, anonymous denizen of lit. Today you are my kindly lesson learned.

Photo by Cephas CC BY-SA 3