Fear in Writing: How does she do that?

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How does she do that?

How does she write like that? How does she create such dynamic characters?  How does she invent the backstory and the settings and the conversation?  I've never read such amazing...poetry in prose!

I'm talking about Susan Straight.  I'm moving through her book (work of  art, really) Take One Candle Light a Room right now.  I'm in the last part and the whole story is coming together.  It's really amazing how she brings so many different stories--the characters's past-present-future--together and how they're about to all crash into a virtual storm, while a literal storm is also bearing down on them.

I can't recommend highly enough this work of art.  If you love books of any kind, you will love this.  There is something here for everyone--romance, death, mystery, murder, social commentary, travel, art, racial conflict, coming-of-age.

Have any of you ready work by Susan Straight?  What did you think?

Here are a few links for the author/professor:
UC-Riverside bio


  1. I haven't, but I'll put her on my TBR list, for sure. Thanks!

  2. Michele - Thanks so much for the recommendation. Isn't it wonderful when we find an author who really makes that much of an impression?!

  3. I haven't heard of her, but will look her up after this.

  4. I had never heard of her until I stumbled upon the book in the "librarian's recommendations" section of the library. Now look at the press she's getting just from me! I tell you, libraries are wonderful place. :)

  5. Gotta get this one, Michelle. Thanks!

  6. Haven't hear of the book or the author until now. Sounds like a great book so I'll add it to my wish list. Thanks.

    Thoughts in Progress

  7. I've been privileged to know Susan for years. I was a reporter when first I wrote about her writing and her work at UCR to develop the advanced writing program there. Every one of her novels is stunning. I agree with you TAKE ONE CANDLE LIGHT A ROOM is a work of art. My heart was stolen by this story and I remain amazed by the way she writes with such realism and lyricism.

  8. Tricia- Thank you for your comment! I have already ordered a second Straight book and am really looking forward to its arrival. I finished 'Take One Candle' last night and had to just breathe for a few minutes afterward, taking it all in. Really amazing.

    Mason- Can't recommend her enough. I think you'd like it.

    Les- Get it!

  9. I'm Susan Straight reader since the beginning and the how of it is still a mystery. She's a storyteller with a heart. Her first novel is still one of my favorites, "I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots."