Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Elizabeth L. Silver

Elizabeth L Silver is the author of the memoir, The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty, and the critically acclaimed novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Silver's reply:
After three years of reading so many memoirs, I’m currently reading a mix of fiction and nonfiction now and loving it.

Right now I’m in the early-middle of Celeste Ng’s new novel, Little Fires Everywhere, which is everything as good as the reviews say. I can’t put it down. It’s about a family in a wealthy enclave in Ohio, where class, race, and relationships are put on trial.

I’m also re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, in part because I read it so long ago while much younger, and at the time, didn’t fully understood its import, relevance, or power. Given the current political climate and the extraordinary TV adaptation, I felt the need to reconnect with it. It’s a book with a message, but lost in the political current is the fact that it’s a tremendous novel. As a writer, there is much to learn from Atwood, and this novel is one of the best teachers out there.

On the nonfiction end, I just finished A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emma Claire Sweeney & Emily Midorikawa, a book that explores the forgotten friendships between female writers. So much real estate in literary history is given to the legends of male writers, such as the friendship between Hemingway and Fitzgerald, that the authors, friends themselves, wanted to dig into history to find the legends behind the female friendships, which certainly existed. In full disclosure, the authors are friends of mine from graduate school, which makes this book all the more meaningful to read.

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. This book falls under: How have I never read you? It is the book that started so much of the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s, and when read today feels so understood, but at the time, it was a revelation and a shock to society. Sometimes thoughts and concepts are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t know when we first heard or read them. This book is responsible for so much of early feminist theory, and even though there have been hundreds of followers since, Friedan is the mother of so much feminist nonfiction.
Visit Elizabeth L. Silver's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.

My Book, The Movie: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.

The Page 99 Test: The Tincture of Time.

--Marshal Zeringue