Friday, May 3, 2013


Virginia Woolf with her cocker spaniel Pinka
Recorded books have been a life line throughout my illness, from the eight dark years without a diagnosis, through to my current transition off antibiotics.

 I just finished listening to a good book, called Shaggy Muses, by Maureen Adams. It’s about five women writers and their dogs: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf.
Although I love my dog and consider myself a writer, I was wary of this book. Writing about dogs has the potential for turning into drivel! Maureen Adams avoided this, using the angle of dog ownership to create concise, engaging biographies of each writer. Each biography was just long enough, without being too long. (Happily, these were no five-volume chronicles of Winston Churchill’s life.)

Edith Wharton liked lap dogs.

I was also struck by how many of these writers lived within limitations, due to physical or mental illness. Nonetheless, they managed successful careers as writers, and during times when writing as a woman meant swimming against strong social currents.

Cleopatra keeping me company!

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