Monday, November 24, 2008

Leaving France & Second Review of The White Road

I am leaving France today after my three week stay and so I thought I would write a little more about my experiences. I had high expectations, extraordinarily high, due to having been spoiled - twice - by my stays at the Anam Cara writers retreat. Compared to Anam Cara I would describe La Muse, which is in a beautiful setting, very isolated, amazing views, more as "self-catering accomodation for writers and artists", which is different from a cushioned and all-catered retreat. It's not a place where you can think only of your writing, your characters, your plot knots and tangles - there are fires to be lit to keep warm, and three meals a day to be thought out. I didn't "do" all the work I thought I wanted to, but I did sleep a lot, and meet four wonderful people, Cynthia, Adrian, Susan and S, and we five conjured up that magical space of creativity, inspiration, writing and reading, sharing and eating that is what this is all about! Thank you, all four of you, for co-creating this space, in which we cooked together, read to each other, did flash-writing sessions, laughed a lot, drank quite a bit (I introduced them to some great Israeli wine!), and gave the Scrabble board a strenuous workout! A retreat really is only as good as your fellow retreaters, and this really was a wonderful group.
Today I am leaving, and looking forward to reuniting with J, and to going to the Momaya Press short story awards in London tomorrow, and to meeting Sue Guiney on Wednesday, and to finding myself a cupcake, and to hanging out with my family members, and then, then, to be going home, via a convoluted flight plan which involves three take-offs and landings, but will be fine.
To speed me on my way, a second and cheek-reddeningly glowing review for The White Road and Other Stories, from John Lloyd at The BookBag.A little snippet:
There are small links and connections between some of the stories that can be found, if one wants to look for them, but on the whole the book is tempered by the author's excellent ability to bring the global down to a personal level. What is life but for us responding to human biology, the weather, the spirit and energy of the world? That's exactly what Hershman has done, and what she makes her characters do...this collection is one of those rare instances of a sustained brilliance, introducing to me a true artist with a high degree of quality control. I will be eagerly looking for more published works from her – of any length.
Read the rest of the review here on the The BookBag.

3 comments:

Sarah Hilary said...

I'm sorry it wasn't everything you wanted but trust you to see the silver linings. That review is so spot on I was saying, 'Yes! YES!' at the screen. Enjoy the rest of the trip home, and happy cupcake hunting.

Women Rule Writer said...

Hi Tania
Congrats on the review.
And thanks for the honest post re your retreat. V refreshing and interesting!
Safe traveling, me dear.
N x

Tania Hershman said...

Sarah and WRW,
thanks so much, sorry it took me a while to get back to this post.