Thanks for your insightful review of my new book, Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (and Sisterhood) Can Change Women’s Lives.
I’m happy to be called a journalist, as I have the greatest respect for those who ply that art. Indeed, I’ve done a great deal of journalism myself through the years -- I was recently introduced before a lecture by a colleague who called me “the only writer I know who has written for both Mademoiselle and Mother Jones!”
I also appreciated your comments about how men might feel reading the book (and as you undoubtedly noted in Chapter Seven, “If I Thought Like a Guy,” we’ve had some truly great men in Zona Rosa.)
But you might not have fully realized the reason for, and the public assessment of, my past writings regarding women’s sexuality.
I grew up surrounded by Southern women who never told the truth about anything; speaking honestly about anger or sexuality was a taboo I never heard broken (with oft tragic results: my mother committed suicide after a lifetime of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”).
To break these taboos was a conscious decision, and while admittedly the resulting books aren’t for the faint of heart, it was one understood by many of my readers.
My first collection of poems, A Sexual Tour of the Deep South, was favorably reviewed in venues from Ms. magazine to Rolling Stone. My memoir, Fatal Flower: On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South, was also reviewed favorably throughout the country, and was reprinted in 1999 after winning the Palimpsest Prize for a most requested out-of-print book.
Along with my next memoir, Sleeping with Soldiers (in which I sought to turn the double standard on its head), it became a forerunner of the current memoir trend.
Thank you again for your kind words. Thank you, too, for the thoughtful and serious tone you’re setting for Connect.
Uncover more ‘dirt’
I was most impressed with the May 24 article, “Airing the Dirt,” by Stacey Kronquest, that exposed one of Savannah’s dirty little secrets. The toxic pollution that is added to our area by the incinerator on Presidents Street is appalling.
Would it be possible for you to email me a copy of that article that I could forward to friends in town and on Skidaway Island? We’re trying to start our own recycling program here on the island, but of course it will be a “drop in the bucket” in the overall scheme of things in Chatham County.
Thank you for this revealing article.
Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
Editor’s Note: There has been quite a response to both of Ms. Kronquest’s columns in Connect. Look for a cover story by her soon. We’ll post “Airing the Dirt” again to the front page of our website this week at www.connectsavannah.com