But We Were Born To Be Coddled

January 26th, 2005 · 3 Comments
by Booksquare

Though it will not come as a surprise to anyone here, it seems that living with a writer is not easy. Honestly, sometimes the husband wants to talk when it’s quite clear we’re thinking. Oh sure, it looks like napping, but as long as one brain cell is pulsing, we will deny the charge. We will say, however, that every review we read about Living With a Writer gives us pause. First off, we know a lot of writers and very few are able to indulge their inner helpless child. Maybe it’s because so many of the writers we know are women, and unless you’re a woman who writes literary fiction, you aren’t permitted to thumb your nose at the ordinary world. The writers we know, all of whom work hard and produce regular pages, must also manage meals and children (yes, we are still waiting for the article about the father who squeezes writing time in between soccer practice and piano lessons).

Second off, why do so many of these essays describe the woman behind the man, so to speak? Where are the stories of the man behind the woman?

Okay, first and second are really the same thoughts, but are we going to have to go buy this book in order to see how male partners of female authors deal with the stresses of running households and families and such? Please just give us one review that focuses on that, and we’ll be happy (it’s not that we are opposed to adding more books to the household, but we’re just not feeling the love here).

File Under: Square Pegs

3 responses so far ↓

  • Karen // Jan 27, 2005 at 9:00 am

    Women who write literary fiction can’t thumb their noses at the ordinary world, either. They also manage meals and kids. But I know what you mean about the reviews of this collection being a bit of a turn-off.

  • booksquare // Jan 27, 2005 at 9:42 am

    Yes, yes, I know. Miss Cranky was out in full force yesterday. I even made her take an afternoon nap. I suspect this problem is endemic to all women writers…it’s normal for interviews to discuss the domestic problems they face, but the issue seems taboo for males (I have seen a few interviews where men do address this issue, just not enough — and usually the sacrifice [and it is sacrifice] comes in the form of getting up before the kids].

  • Boohoo // Jan 29, 2005 at 6:52 am

    The men behind the successful women–Grafton’s husband, Rowling’s, Roberts’s–are freeloaders, not helpmeets. The men behind the striving women writers are paying the bills and trying to justify not cooking dinner more often.

    Neat, huh?