Why We Write edited by Meredith Maran is the book I just finished reading. As a writer, it was very interesting to me and I enjoyed it immensely. Although I've heard of the majority of the writers that were interviewed for the book, there were several that I had never heard of nor had I ever read anything by them. I have now added most of them to my short list of authors that I want to read.

The age of the writers ranged from 74 to 45 with the 50 - 60 year old range the average. Out of the 20, 13 were women and 7 were men. I was thrilled that women were in the majority of those who were interviewed since typically, women constitute the minority in a lot of art catagories (I find this particularly true in my fine art magazines).

The arrangement of the interview was very well laid out with the vitals and collected works featured in each article. A few words of wisdom from each author closes out the chapter. The question, "Why I Write" is at the core of the article and each has her own reason with the overwhelming response being, "Because I can't do anything else" or "I have to." For most of them writing simply defined who they were as a person in the world. They have always written, will always write, despite their circumstances. Most had children and they talked about working around their child's needs so that they could write. Most were married or had a significant other in their lives. Several had other jobs as teachers since although they had written several books, they still were not considered "wealthy." A few were fortunate enough (or not, however you choose to look at it) to have had a screen adaptation made of their novel. This provided, if only temporarily, a little more financial security. The majority of the authors in the book have received honors and awards for their writing, including one of the highest awards, the Pulitzer Prize.

For writers, I highly recommend this book - it is full of the wisdom of 20 very different, knowledgeable, and experienced writers.

I give Why We Write 5 out of 5 stars.


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