Last weekend, I listened to this delightful interview with Helena Sorensen. She is speaking specifically to women who are also writers and it is a thoughtful look at the reality of writing in the midst of other responsibilities. Apparently I am not the only one who gets tired of books about writing and productivity that are written by people who have perfect freedom to shape their days instead of needing to form their days around responsibilities that are unwavering.
If you are a mother, or you do other care work, or you work a full-time job and attempt creative work on the side, this interview might be encouraging.
The interview did prompt me to share two books I have read recently that are beautiful, thought-provoking works by women. Women have not always had the freedom to write. They were deemed unworthy of education for most of history and often the tasks of survival were so time-consuming that their words never made it to a form that could be preserved for history. What a gift to live in a time where so many women also write.
This Here Flesh is Cole Arthur Riley’s debut book. The book explores the author’s childhood and family stories by contemplating themes such as dignity, lament, and memory. I do not agree with every piece of her theology but I am a better thinker because I have dialogued with Riley’s work.1
No Land to Light On is a novel by Yara Zgheib that tells of the love, marriage, and devastation of two Syrian refugees. It was the last book I received from my Bookshelf Subscription and I had saved it because I could tell it was going to be a heartbreaking read. It was, but it was also beautifully written and strangely hopeful as well. This story will stick with me and I’ve added the author’s first novel to my to-read list.
1 This is the assumption you should make with every book I share. My intent is not to read people who think just like me, but to read widely to expand my understanding of the world and sharpen my own beliefs.