Recommended Reading
Down by the riverside

Just stories

The Reader in the Forest by Robert Henri

I'm afraid that the post I'd been planning for today, on the folklore of Devon, has been delayed while I track down a book I need to complete it. In the meantime, I'd like to re-visit this marvelous TED talk by Elif Shafak (below), filmed in 2010, which addresses the power of storytelling, the magic of circles, and both the strengths and limitations of identity politcs -- an  issue that many writers from different cultures and social classes continue to wrestle with today.

"I started writing fiction at the age of eight," Shafak said in World Literature Today, "not because I wanted to become a novelist (I didn’t even know there was such a possibility, such a way of living) but because I was a lonely and hopelessly introverted child, on my own most of the time, observing things and people from an unbridgeable distance. There was a gap between my inner space and the outside world; a gap that I was painfully aware of. Books saved me. Books held my pieces together. Books loved me. And I loved them in return. I loved them with my entire soul."

The painting above is "The Reader in the Forest" by Robert Henri (1865-1929)