How She Did It: On Penelope Fitzgerald, Writing, and Women at Work
Fitzgerald was ground down, I imagine, consumed by how to take care of her family. This didn’t make her any less the thinker, writer, reader, that she was.
how does she do it?
Each morning, she dressed the children smartly, and carted them the twenty minutes or two hours of buses and trains it took, depending on the location of their most recent shelter, to get them to school.
She taught at high schools and cram schools and a school for child actors. She wrote plays and children’s stories and essays, whatever she could to feed her kids. She was ground down, I imagine, in that specific way of being wholly consumed by how next one might find a way to take care of one’s family. This didn’t make her any less the thinker, writer, reader, that she was.
How does she do it?
Lynn Steger Strong's first novel, Hold Still, was released by Liveright/WW Norton in March 2016. She received an MFA from Columbia University and her non-fiction has been published in Guernica, LARB, Elle.com, Catapult, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She teaches both fiction and non-fiction writing at Columbia University, Fairfield University, and the Pratt Institute. Lynn's second novel, Want, is forthcoming from Henry Holt in spring 2020.
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I go to Japan, pulled like a magnet, to see what is mine, undiscovered or forgotten; to see what will never be mine; and to find some way to reconcile the two.