Gilchrist on Writing

I’m a fan of Ellen Gilchrist’s work (In the Land of Dreamy Dreams is one of my favorite collections) but somehow I missed that she has a new book out about craft, The Writing Life, due to come out in March. The Mississippi Press devotes a page to Gilchrist, her work, and a reading she gave at Newcomb College Center for Research on Women.

A portion of the book is dedicated to the delicate balance between an artistic life and family commitments.

In the essay, “Writing What you Know,” Gilchrist tells of a talented young writer who wrote a marvelous story about bullies on the back of a school bus. She had to drop out of the writing course for the birth of her third son. Gilchrist ran into her at the Fayetteville Athletic Club.

Reading from the book, Gilchrist said, “I’d like to get back to school but as you can see it isn’t going to happen soon,’ she told me. You’re collecting material,’ I told her. Besides, this is the real creation. Everything else is a shadow.’ I hope so,’ she answered and disappeared to the swimming pool.”