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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

Category

Contemplation

Cherished

My great-grandmother Essie always wore an apron, the full-bib type that buttoned together in the back. Hers were made of lightweight cotton printed with floral patterns and trimmed with piping that matched. Even as a small child, I felt the love and warmth and story inside her tilting house. Although mindful and very much living in the now, part of me lingers in that time so vivid in my mind.

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The Lost Daughter

On the advice of another author, I read Elena Ferrante’s novel The Days Of Abandonment. Her storytelling is direct, often addressing uncomfortable and socially taboo feelings about marriage divorce and motherhood. Parts left me cringing. The novel reaffirms that a character’s unabashed honesty pulls readers deep inside their point of view.

Netflix is showing The Lost Daughter, a small budget indie film directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. She wrote the script based on Ferrante’s novel of the same title about Leda, a middle-aged divorcee whose long-awaited vacation leads to painful introspection. I once binged on episodes of Actors Roundtable that featured Gyllenhaal. She asked why women actors arrived on set in full makeup and dress like bridesmaids while male panelists dress casually in T-shirts and jeans. She also pointed out that the male-dominated film industry generates movies to satisfy the male gaze.

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And Then He Said . . .

This past week, I listened to a podcast in which an award-winning author was interviewed about her writing life and most recent publication. She’s received critical acclaim for four New York Times bestselling novels and two short story collections. In short, she’s a force. Her rapport with the podcast host was energetic and his questions yielded rich content.

After a lengthy conversation, the author commented with surprise on the time. She needed to pick up her child from school. How sweet. How human.

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