The Greats

thayer allyson gowdy

There is nothing as wonderful as getting lost in a book, becoming completely absorbed by the words written across a milky page. Sometimes I can get so lost in a book, so head-over-heels in love with the characters, that when tragedy strikes, I am as devastated by the loss as if it were real. Why, when life is always handing us lemons, do we insist on breaking our hearts with the make believe? Should we avoid stories that will ultimately leave us drowning in tears, or immerse ourselves in them fully? Will they help us better understand our own lives and perhaps see the lights shining brighter than before? Will they prepare us for an experience? Will they enrich our lives and make us stronger? If not, then why bother?

It is an incredible trust we put in the hands of writers. We pray that the path they have created for us is one that we can follow safely and come out at the end better for it. Not all writers are as capable, some can sucker punch us and leave us winded and wondering what went wrong. How could we have not seen this coming? Writers ask us to place our trust in their words, our heart in their pages and come into the world they created with an open mind. If they write from a pure, honest place, without an agenda or a formula, we follow them willingly. Many writers try but only few succeed. This summer, honor the writers who write with the purity of their art and the honesty of their soul.

Alice Munroe, Sue Miller, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, John Irving. These are just a few of the greats. Discover them if you haven’t yet, revisit them if you’ve already been there and pass along these gifted writers to friends and family.

{photo credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy}

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