Although I’ve been writing and publishing for fifty years, I’m always thrilled when a new book is launched. THE RED SCARF, published just this week, is the sequel to THE HAT. And its sequel, THE NECKLACE, is in process on my computer, and should be finished soon. The three novels follow Kate Brady from the age of eighteen to eighty and reflect my keen interest in the lives of women.
We are wives, widows, daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts; we run houses and businesses; we nurture babies and organize neighborhoods; we take care of parents; we garden and run for Congress; we listen and console. Writing has revealed these fulfilling, frustrating, satisfying roles to me as I’ve tried to understand and celebrate the gloriously complicated lives of women for my own and my readers’ discovery.
So when I’m asked at readings where I get my ideas, my answer is always the same—namely, from my conscious and unconscious life as a woman.
Beginning when I was a girl of twelve.
“Why won’t Mom ever talk about our father?” I asked my older brother. Kenny was at the advanced age of seventeen to my twelve; tall and street-smart, he could drive a car and work after school and figure skate at the Elysium and yell at our mother. I had already asked him questions about sex, but the answer I sought now seemed more dangerous...