Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heather Sharfeddin

Heather Sharfeddin grew up in Idaho and Montana, the daughter of a forester-turned-cattle rancher. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son. Her books include Blackbelly, Mineral Spirits, and the newly released Sweetwater Burning.

Recently I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. It's a fabulous book about family connections, which is a topic I find particularly interesting. Allison's ability to peel back the covers and show us how even the most dysfunctional families have their own endearing traditions and perspectives makes her work so appealing. She illustrates how children grow into and emulate their own people. The fierce loyalties in this book are at times so clear and understandable, and at times troubling and even heartbreaking.

I've also recently read Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, another story of family connections and disconnections. Robinson's prose, though, is what I most love about her work. The story reads like a beautiful poem with extraordinary imagery. She also explores the making of a certain type of people based on a child's family experience--growing her character into the eccentric offspring of eccentric people. I loved it.

On my "to read" shelf, I've recently added The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. I'm also planning to reread The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.
Visit Heather Sharfeddin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue