Last fall I gave a talk at my favorite library in the world: my hometown Morristown and Morris Township Public Library in Morristown, New Jersey.
Morristown and Morris Township Public Library in Morristown, New Jersey
So many high school friends of mine came, and fans of my mom, Joan, author of Home Front Girl, arrived in droves–even in wheelchairs. It was really amazing.
My high school pal and fellow thespian, Tony Boyadjis, and I reading “Frazier” and “Joan”
The reporter, Lorraine Ash, did a beautiful job summing up the event. You can read her article here. What really touched me was how she also wrote about my mom’s other books, as well as my dad’s “seminal textbook,” Organic Chemistry. Since everyone in our family has published books, my mom called us “The Morrison Writing Factory.”
Hubbub after the talk
Those words still ring true. After the physical copies of Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America, written by my mother Joan and edited by me, arrived in fall 2012, the kids eagerly each grabbed a book. Chatter and delight.
“My name appears twice,” crows Sarah, who is not only mentioned in the Acknowledgements but also credited with the book jacket photo of my mom and me. While Jim had taken the photo, Sarah touched it up and focused it in that magical way only experts on Photoshop can (more on her expertise in other posts).
Meanwhile, John gloats about how I describe him in the Acknowledgements. “She says I’m ‘tender-hearted!'” he triumphs in a distinctly untender-hearted manner.
John, Sarah, and Susie reading Home Front Girl around the dining room table.
Then we all settle in to read while Jim prepares dinner. All are intent on the book. Occasional banter bubbles up about some word or line of Grandma’s.
At one point, Sarah says, “I say ‘purdy good’ just like Grandma does here.” She seems pleased to find this link between herself and her grandmother. Little does she know how many more there will be that she will discover! Beyond how everyone thinks she looks like Joan.
The quiet grace while reading Home Front Girl
At dinner Sarah tells about how, when she couldn’t fall asleep the night before, she created a television series in her head about a post-apocalyptic world. John pipes up suggestions and soon–they’re off to the races. Creating, describing, fashioning dialogue.
A new generation of what my mother dubbed our family, all of whom write: The Morrison Writing Factory.