Loved, loved, loved “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd and this summer, when visiting the South, I drove to Charleston to visit locales from the book. A wonderful guide, Mary Margaret, gave us a walking tour featuring the “Ladies of the Low Country” which included stories about the famous abolitionists, the Grimke sisters. If you are ever in Charleston, you will love this tour. And don’t miss the Drayton Plantation either. Just beyond the grounds and the house you may catch moments from the past; the beauty and sorrow of the land and its former occupants.
I toured the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta: “house” being a bit of a misnomer. They should really call it the Margaret Mitchell Apartment; she herself referred to it as “the dump.” Originally a single family home, the Tutor Revival was carved into 10 apartments in 1919. Margaret and her husband resided on the ground floor, at Number 1, in a space that could be described as a cubby hole. Ms Mitchell wrote Gone With The Wind in a corner of the parlor and as I stared at her desk, I wondered what Virginia Woolf would make of this arrangement. Ms Mitchell wrote one of the world’s best selling books in a communal space with no doors. (Perhaps Margaret’s husband spent more time away from the house than Virginia’s did?) It was a great reminder that we really don’t need a room of our own in order to write. But we do need fortitude and imagination. How lucky for Virginia that she had all three. And luckier for Margaret that she only needed the two.
How hungry was the first cave woman who spied an artichoke and thought, “Maybe if I pound it with rocks and add some bison fat I could serve it for dinner?” Because artichokes are thorny and cumbersome. They look inedible. But the first cave woman was right: they are delicious and worth the prep. Plus, I’ll show you an easy garlic mayonnaise to throw together while your chokes are steaming.
The Novelistas read “The Goldfinch” last month…keeping in sync with all the other book clubs in America. And it lives up to the buzz: a wonderful tale with memorable characters. Although we all admitted to skimming in parts – and this is a group that reads long books (Anna Karenina – even longer). No matter, it’s utterly absorbing and great fun to read.
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