FYI to Clevelanders I will be joining some truly esteemed writers this weekend at a new writers conference here.  Ron Powers, the first television critic to win a Pulitzer, who went on to a great career in non-fiction books including a Mark Twain bio and Huck and Tom Don’t Live Here Anymore, will be here, as will, among other other writers, a novelist named Ann Hood
Her most recent novel is The Knitting Circle.  Ann started out as a flight attendant for TWA and managed to write her first novel the way first novelists do, from sheer will.  She was on the faculty at Breadloaf when I, unpublished and beginning my own first novel, earned a fellowship there.  I bumped into her once, briefly, and managed to desperately express my ambitions.  She smiled the most natural smile and said, “You will,”  as if it were a done deal.  I have always been in love with her for that.  Then I read this essay from the Sunday NYTimes, and felt absolutely crushed by it. If there is a better way to write about this kind of grief, I’ve never seen it.  It’s so powerful in fact that when I went to get the link, I assumed I’d read the story a few months ago.  In fact it appeared a year and a few months ago.  I’ll be reading from Reach of a Chef, but I urge those not here to read Ann Hood and Ron Powers if you haven’t already.  I’m grateful they’re making the trip to Cleveland.


22 Wonderful responses to “Fairmount Center Writing Conference”

  • ohiogirl

    I read Ann’s essay and I am sitting at my computer, crying.

    What a tragedy. And what a writer.

  • Claudia

    Recalling George dying was sad enough – it dredged up that painful morning I stood outside the Dakota covering the story of John’s murder – but the coup de grace, her daughter dying so suddenly? Acccchhh. In a family raised on the Beatles who have raised the next generation on them, too, the years of love and loss intwined with the music and lives of the Beatles – well, we could all identify. My sister, brother, sister-in-law and their kids are home crying right now. Heart-breaking.

  • The Professor

    This a very, very sad piece for sure, the loss of a child is beyond human comprehension unless it happens to you, thank God it has not come my way. Bless her for her courage and the sheer will it must have taken to continue on, with even the most simple things,much less write again.

  • Frances

    We nearly lost our son (who will be 9 in Nov.) to leukemia when he was 3. We are lucky. Over the many months of treatment, I became friends with many parents who were not lucky. Every child that my son knew from the clinic is gone from us. But in spite of the loss, in spite of the grief, I firmly believe that Grace does hear the lullibies.

  • Shanti

    I’d read and enjoyed her book a while ago, but hadn’t seen the essay. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • sorchar

    Wow. That was heartbreaking, but so brave. Wherever Grace is, I hope she’s playing with John and George.

  • bob

    I was a kid when Lennon was taken from us, an adult, of sorts when we lost George. It’s amazing that a musical group could mean so much, or have such an effect. Yet, I will think of my folks whenever I hear the Beatles for the rest of my life. Ann is a great writer, thanks for introducing me.

  • Eliza

    TO brighten up this blog…I must say, I find you very appealing in every way. Your sparing arrogance gelling with your Bon Vivant is rare and sexy.

  • bob

    You really do gel well! Is that beef base gel, or more of an agar agar type thing?

  • DrBehavior

    We lost one of our children to leukemia just one day past her seventeenth birthday. I needn’t tell anyone that the loss of a child is life altering. Yet, despite the enormity of the grief, if the relationship was based on a true and sincere reciprocity of love and mutual respect, there is joy in virtually all things remembered. I have absolute empathy for Ann Hood and share with her the sweet joy intermingled with the searing pain when reliving those precious moments now passed. She write from and with her heart.

  • ECK

    I’m totally crying now, too. As someone also raised on The Beatles, this is just heartbreaking.

  • Meg Wolff

    I checked out your site as I once had a boyfriend named Michael Rulman. I know different spelling…but, it caught my eye.

    I read your post and I really liked these two lines the best…”I bumped into her once, briefly, and managed to desperately express my ambitions. She smiled the most natural smile and said, “You will,” as if it were a done deal.”

    These two lines say a lot. It really made me like her..and you. Perhaps I’ll get both of your books 🙂

  • Carri

    if anyone needs a little comic relief, check out Bourdain rapping on Morcheeba’s song ‘Lisa’…it was apparently recorded for an upcoming NR episode in London…it’s on their MySpace page……enjoy!

  • kellypea

    I can’t imagine. Thank you for giving me yet another reason to not take what I have for granted this morning…

  • Dan Moseley

    Just came across your blog and appreciated the NY Times essay by Ann Hood. Ann and I became friends several years ago and she has written the forward to my new book that will come out in January from Xyzzy Press. “Living with Loss” is my journey of discovery. It was written to provide companionship for others who struggle with all kinds of losses. Ann’s forward to the book tells more of her story and how we connected. The book can be preordered on Amazon.