One dead author I’d like to have on my show: Harriet Doerr

I’ve been studying Spanish (I’m in a little private class with three others) and it’s made me seek out novels that have to do with Mexico or something Spanish, and so I came across one author’s books on tape whom I’ve known about for years and have even written about in my book, but never read.

Harriet Doerr didn’t even get a BA till after she was 60 and she was around 73 when she won the National Book Award for Stones for Ibarra

. In the library I found Consider This, Senora

on tape, which came after Stones and I checked it out. Such beautiful writing, and with a third person, omnicient narrator, which I tend to find too distant. But Doerr pulls in close and has just the right touch.

The book is made up of several connected stories about American ex-pats living in Mexico. The book is worth her metaphors and similes alone. (It’s so hard coming up with fresh ones…)

Then I picked up Stones for Ibarra, her first novel, and again, such great writing, and that close third person omnicient narrator. Which is another reason to check out this book: Omnicient can be done well, which Doerr proves in this book. No wonder she won a major award for this book.

She’s also proof that, in the world of letters, age matters little, if any. In the end, it’s the writing that counts. I love that.

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One dead author I’d like to have on my show: Harriet Doerr

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