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text 2017-11-21 14:31
An Interview with Anne Leigh Parrish, Author of Women Within + Audiobook Giveaway

We're happy to introduce you Anne Leigh Parrish, a short story writer and a novelist.

 

Anne's debut novel, What Is Found, What Is Lost appeared in 2014. Women Within, her second novel, was published in September 2017 by Black Rose Writing. Another multi-generational story,  it weaves together three lives at the Lindell Retirement home, using themes of care-giving, women’s rights, and female identity. Her next novel, The Amendment, is scheduled to be released in June 2018.  

 

What inspired you to become a writer? Was it an easy path?

 

I always loved stories, made-up characters, and the musical quality of language. Lyrical prose is very important to me, both as a writer and as a reader. And no, becoming a writer was by no means easy. It takes years of trying a new approach, getting feedback, working with that feedback, and most of all, taking chances.

 

Your newest novel, Women Within, is a story of three women whose paths cross at the Lindell Retirement Home. Can you tell our readers more about the book and the main characters?

 

Constance Maynard, age 94, is a resident at Lindell. She is a retired professor of History who feels that women have always been unfairly treated and valued primarily for their reproductive capability. She adopts a child when a member of her own family cannot care for her properly, and declares that the child is hers, although she in unmarried. This is in the 1950’s, a time when social mores were harsh. She embraces the disdain she is shown, and rises above it all to prove that she is as worthy as any of her male colleagues.

 

Her two aides are the other two women in the book, the first of whom, 50’s-something Eunice Fitch, has her own female challenges. For one thing, her mother, a hard-drinking and unsympathetic person, was a poor role model. From an early obsession with silent screen star Lilian Gish, Eunice feels that the best thing to do is to be steadfast and uncomplaining. While these traits make her a great caregiver, it proves disastrous in her serial relationships with men.

 

Lastly, we have Sam (short for Samantha) Clark, in her twenties, overweight, whose mother is also difficult. She yearns to be pretty and petite, only to discover that her physical strength and endurance are in fact much more valuable.

 

AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY

Request NOW ->

REQUEST THE AUDIOBOOK ->

 

Your book focuses on the female issues and women relationships, you also give a solid  insight of the caregiving industry. Why did you choose to talk about these subjects in your novel?

 

To be honest, this is very personal territory for me, at least in terms of the relationships women have with other women, particularly family members. My mother was difficult. She was highly intelligent, well-education, successful in her career as a professor – and yes, she serves as the inspiration for Constance Maynard in the novel – but she was deeply dissatisfied with just about everything, my father most of all. Though she was unhappy in her marriage, she never accepted his decision to divorce her, and spent the rest of her life blaming him for a situation she in large part created. My only sibling is a sister (six years older than I), and she, too, was difficult. Her hatred of me, and her abuse of me when I was young had an enormously negative influence in my life.

 

As to caregiving, I once worked in a retirement home when I was younger, and then much later, spent time visiting my father in one as he declined. I am fascinated by the almost insular nature of that world, and the contrast between those who seldom leave it, and the people who come and go every day.

 

What are you working on right now? We know that your third novel is coming next year.

 

I’m working on a novel called Maggie’s Ruse. Like The Amendment, the novel appearing in June, it contains characters from my 2013 linked story collection, Our Love Could Light the World. It features a pair of identical twins, overly-privileged Millennials trying to find themselves as individuals by putting some distance between them.

 

What writers have an impact on your reading, and of course, writing? 

 

All “the greats,” but specifically Flannery O’Connor, Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Alice Munro, and Louise Erdrich.

 

What are you reading right now, Anne?

 

Ann Beattie’s newest story collection, The Accomplished Guest.

 

What three titles would you take on a desert island?

 

Boy, that’s a tough one. Probably The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Mendocino Fire: Stories by Elizabeth Tallent, and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

 

The Round House - Louise ErdrichMendocino Fire: Stories - Elizabeth TallentOlive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

 

Paper books or e-books?

When I have lots of time, and am staying in one place – that is, not on an airplane, or road trip, then paper books. Otherwise, the convenience of an e-book is just too great to ignore.

 

Anne, it’s shelfie time! Our readers would love to see your home library.

 


Anne Leigh Parrish's home library

 

Thank you Anne! 

 

Make sure to request the audiobook giveaway of Women Within!

 

AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY

Ends November 28, 2017

Request NOW ->

 

 

Anne Leigh Parrish Books: 

Women Within - Anne Leigh ParrishWhat Is Found, What Is Lost - Anne Leigh Parrish 

By the Wayside: Stories - Anne Leigh ParrishOur Love Could Light the World - Anne Leigh ParrishAll the Roads That Lead from Home - Anne Leigh Parrish

 

The Amendment: A Novel coming June 2018 from Unsolicited Press

Women Within: A Novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017), Best Fiction Winner, 2017 Maxy awards

By The Wayside: Stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017), Finalist in the Short Story category of the 2017 International Book Awards

What Is Found, What Is Lost: A Novel (She Writes Press, 2014), Finalist in the Literary Fiction category of the 2015 International Book Awards; Winner, Literary Fiction, 2015 Book of the Year Award

Our Love Could Light The World: Stories (She Writes Press, 2013), Finalist the short story category of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Finalist in both the 2013 International Book Awards and the 2013 Best Books Awards

All The Roads That Lead From Home: Stories (Press 53, 2011), 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal Winner

 

Connect with Anne Leigh Parrish:

Website: anneleighparrish.com

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/AnneLParrish

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AnneLeighParrish

BookLikes: booklikes.com/anne-leigh-parrish/author,2603718

 

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text 2017-11-20 13:08
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #4: November 22nd and 23rd - Penance Day
The Tremor of Forgery: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Denise Mina (introduction) Patricia Highsmith (author)

Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher or priest as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

 

I meant to update this over the weekend while I was reading the book, but BL maintenance/bug fixing meant that I had to save this post until now.

 

I've read The Tremor of Forgery - a full review is still to come - and it's a book where Highsmith explores some existentialist ideas about morality and how morality is shaped. 

As it turned out, the main character spent a lot of time feeling guilty - and questioning his feelings of guilt - over current and past relationships as well as over a more tangible event that occurred during his stay in Tunisia on which the plot is based: Did he or did he not kill a man?

 

 

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text 2017-11-20 12:51
Reading progress update: I've read 18%.
A Destiny of Dragons - By (author) TJ Klune,Michael Lesley

“I am going to do so many things to you later,” I said. “Things I can’t talk about right now because my parents and my long-lost grandma are standing right near us and I want them to think I’m still a virgin.”
“We don’t think that,” Dad said. “Especially since you came to us the day after you lost it and announced it at breakfast.”

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text 2017-11-18 14:41
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
A Destiny of Dragons - By (author) TJ Klune,Michael Lesley

 

 

F..... Finally!

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review 2017-11-17 14:46
Neverwhere
Neverwhere: Author's Preferred Text - Neil Gaiman

I enjoyed this after a bit. The first 30 to 40 percent I found slow. But the book picks up momentum and I liked how we get to see more of the London Below via other characters when we're not following the main characters of Richard and Door.

 

Richard Mayhew finds himself helping a young woman one night and it changes his life forever. Without realizing it, helping the woman named Door will cost Richard his life as he knows it when he finds himself pushed out of his reality. Being lost about what to do, Richard goes looking for Door and finds out about London Below.

 

I liked Richard though I found him to be a little slow on the uptake sometimes. But I think that Gaiman did a good job of having a readers see things through Richard's eyes.

 

This book is told in the third person, and we get to follow a number of characters around. We have the Lady Door, the Marquis, and a woman called Hunter who's the best hunter in London Below. When Door goes on a quest to figure out who killed her family and why these four characters end up going on a series of mini-quests.

 

I kind of like how Gaiman mixes history in this book along with some cultural significance to people who are from Britain.

 

The writing was good, but as I said above, the flow was off for me for a good portion of the book.

 

The setting was awesome and I found myself interested in finding out more about those who live in London Below.

 

The ending felt a bit anti-climatic to me. But all in all, this was a pretty good story.

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