I was over-the-moon delighted when Nancy Pearl invited me to be on her Book Lust program to talk about books and writing. Here’s the final cut of the conversation we had in September at the Women’s University Club in Seattle. Nancy is so amazing — someday I hope I have the opportunity to interview her!
Last month in San Francisco, a woman at my Green Apple reading asked me what books I'd recommend on the topic of gentrification. We all knew about Evicted, of course, by Matthew Desmond, and I thought straight away of Naima Coster's beautiful first novel, Halsey Street. Here are a few other recommendations on the subject:
1. GENTRIFIER by Marc Lamont Hill, Jason Patch, and John Joe Schlichtman. These three scholars not only give a framework for understanding the various phenomena that we collectively refer to as gentrification, but they also situate themselves in the places they live.
2. THE INVENTION OF BROWNSTONE BROOKLYN by Suleiman Osman. This book provides history on the development of Brooklyn, debunks the idea that gentrification started in New York City, and describes the appeal of certain neighborhoods to a swath of middle-class Americans on a quest for authenticity.
3. There Goes the Neighborhood, a podcast by WNYC, has two seasons: the first on Brooklyn, specifically East New York, and the second on L.A. The podcast features the stories of residents, business owners, folks in real estate and government. It unpacks everything from why the coffee shop has become an emblem of gentrification to potential solutions to the pricing out and displacement of long-time residents.
Kelly and I had the pleasure of making a book list for The Rumpus with some of our favorite books by women writing on/around/about home. If you've read This Is the Place and you're looking for more, here are some suggestions to add to your reading list!
Books given the label "anthology" are generally underrated, but they have such great potential to create community and conversation. Jane Friedman was kind enough to let me expand my thoughts about how and why I've spent the past few years editing an anthology, including some practical tips for potential editors out there, here on her blog. Thanks, Jane!
Our dates are set for our annual writing & yoga retreat in the beautiful forests of Bainbridge Island's Islandwood. I will lead reflective, generative writing sessions to ground us in the new year, and Emily Trenker will lead gentle, soul-satisfying yoga sessions to meld mind and body. Noursihing food and nature will be in abundance. And having our retreats at Islandwood helps support their top-notch, hands-on science and environmental education for elementary school kids around the region. Join us! January 26-28, 2018. For more info, email me.
After a reading many years ago at the Seattle Public Library in Ballard, Lesley Hazelton approached me and gave me the kind of boost of confidence every young writer needs. The essay she heard, and some others she later read, became the groundwork for the forthcoming anthology This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home. To Lesley, and every established writer who has the generosity of heart and spirit to help a young writer along her path, thank you.
I could read Margot Kahn all day. Her writing is so masterly and so addictive – a deceptively gentle addiction that has you firmly in its grip long before you realize it. She gets us literally where we live – home – opening out the familiar into an unexpected realm of grace.
- Lesley Hazleton