Not only was I excited to devour this book, but it fits PERFECTLY with the mission here at The Red Dress Club.
Nava Atlas gathers up twelve "Literary Ladies" and beautifully weaves their thoughts (collected from letters and writings) in with her own words on all the aspects of really pushing through to be an author.
Wondering why we write in the first place? There is a chapter on that. Let Anais Nin inspire you with her explanation of how writing is like breathing. It must be done.
What about dealing with rejection? There's a chapter on that. Madeleine L'Engle dealt with more rejection than you could imagine with her book, A Wrinkle in Time.
How do you develop a strong voice? Again, there's a chapter on that. Willa Cather and Charlotte Bronte will give two differing sides on the "write what you know" advice. This chapter actually made me think of Cheryl and her addition to that advice "...and what you don't!"
And this is just a sneak peek! I wasn't too startled to find many of my own self-doubts in the writings of Virgina Wolfe, but I was shocked to find how much Willa Cather and I have in common.
I've only read through the book once and already my copy has those post-it flags all along the sides signaling places for me to come back to when I need a literary kick in the pants.
On a personal note, this book was exactly what I needed to read right now. I've been having all sorts of writerly doubts that have sent me into a funk in my writing. This book is a like a support group for women writers showing us the work that was done before us, and assuring us that we are not alone in our ups and downs in this life we are choosing.
One of the most powerful quotes for me came from the beginning. When I finished reading, I went back to the chapter on Becoming a Writer.
"This need to write was for me as strong as the need to live. I needed to live, but I also needed to record what I lived. It was a second life, it was my way of living in a more heightened way."
I promised a giveaway, and I will not disappoint!
Nava emailed with me and told me that she would LOVE to give one of you writerly ladies (or guys) a copy of her book!
All you have to do is leave a comment telling us who your literary inspiration is and why.
Want a bonus entry? Tweet the following and come back and leave a separate comment telling us you tweeted.
It's a Literary Giveaway with @TheRedDressClub and @navaatlas2 for her new book, The Literary Ladies http://bit.ly/eCQBDB
One winner will be chosen and announced after noon est on Thursday, April 14 using random.org.
Want another opportunity to win? Ash, a fellow Red Dress Clubber is also hosting a giveaway until midnight tonight. Get your entry in there too!
The legal stuff: Nava Atlas sent me (Katie Sluiter) a free copy of her book for review and is providing the spoils of this giveaway. The opinions in the review, however, are all my own. You can buy a lot from me, but you can't buy my thoughts and opinions.