December 08, 2008

Magazines can be helpful!

As well as my addiction to books I also have a growing addiction to magazines - can't get enough of them! Now that we have a local Borders store my addiction for the latest UK and American magazines can be met.

A recent purchase was the latest edition of the O at Home magazine which contains an article written by the author Ann Patchett titled "One Woman's Work". Ann writes about the battle to sustain your creative endeavours when also required to take on board the role of wife and house cleaner. This is a constant theme for me in my life - not that I'm a wife and nor do I consider myself much of a housecleaner! But I guess I'm really just really focusing on the "chores'' and duties of everyday life and how they can begin to take over - if you let them.

Ann writes;

While I had nothing but respect for homemakers, I knew I was never going to be one. Sure, I aced home ec, but it was Bellow and Roth I had really fallen for. As soon as chores were done, I would throw myself across my neatly made bed and read. I planned to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen and Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor - no children, no husband.

The article is really inspiring and interesting to read as Ann Patchett seems to have found a way to reconcile the different requirements of her life;

When I was a child, I had a strong idea of what a writer looked like (a lonely garret in Paris, a neatly mended cardigan) and what a housewife looked like (a blur of helpful activity). But seeing as how both images are born of useless cliches, I think it's time I stopped trying to live up to either one of them.

Sounds like good advice to me - although I still rather like the sound of that lonely garret in Paris...


Sarah said...

I've succumbed to the temptation to buy expensive overseas magazines from Borders more than once! I've not read any Patchett, but her article does sound interesting.

It reminded me of a short story, by Alice Munro called The Office (from Dance of the happy shades), where a woman trying to be a writer whilst raising her family rents an office so she can focus, only to find she has an overbearing and interfering landlord. I recently read in the Paris Review that Munro based this story on her own experience, so it certainly backs up Patchett's point.

Karen said...

Hi Sarah - I haven't read any of Patchett's books before either but I have just picked up "Bel Canto" and "Truth and Beauty" today so I will let you know what they are like. I also have a book of Alice Munro's short stories waiting for me but not the particular collection you mentioned so I will keep an eye out for that one.

Anonymous said...

Keep buying those magazines!! You keep people like me in a job.

Karen said...

Hi Kimbofo - I'm glad to hear that my consumerism is helping someone out!