I have a writer's crush on Carolyn Parkhurst.

I haven't written here in forever. I still think often, sometimes longingly, of blogging, but somehow...I never make my way over here...

I've been reading a lot lately. Here's something I started to write about reading. Better a fragment than nothing, I suppose:

Carolyn Parkhurst is my favorite author.

Up until a few years ago, if you'd asked me my favorite author, the question would seem too overwhelming to even answer. There are way too many! How could I possibly choose one?! Do you have any idea how much I read?! But after finishing The Nobodies Album a few nights ago, it's official. Parkhurst is my favorite. Not only does she craft the most engaging novels, filled with stories that swallow me whole, but her sentences are just flat out works of beauty. I can't get through a single page without sighing, "Ooooh, I wish I'd written that! Aaaaahh, yes! Perfect! That is the EXACT perfect way to say that!" When reading one of her books, I turn the last page with a bit of wistful sadness, for I'll never experience that particular narrative in that exact way again. I'll re-read it, for sure, but that's the only-ever first time I will have read it. (Yes, I'm a freak. So what? I like what I like.)

I first discovered the quiet magic that is Carolyn Parkhurst's novels with The Dogs of Babel. I was staying the weekend at my former in-laws' house, and my mother-in-law had just finished reading it. She's a voracious reader and always has a stack of library books sitting at the ready on a cluttered wooden church pew in their dining room. She handed me the book, saying, "Here. If you aren't reading anything right now, try this. I think you'd like it. It's different." (People are always recommending "different" things that I might like. My mother is the best giver of gifts, and she claims her secret to finding just the perfect thing for me is to go into a store and find the most hideous or ridiculous item she can, and then she knows I'm sure to love it. Go figure.)

So Connie handed me the book, and I opened to the first page with only a vague sense of curiosity. It quickly sucked me in. It was one of those books I read and then immediately wanted everyone I know to read.



Carolyn Parkhurst said...

Okay, clearly I got here by Googling myself, which is kind of a strike against me, but I wanted to say thank you. This is just about the nicest thing I've ever read about my work, and I appreciate your taking the time to say such nice things in a public way. I send you many thanks and good wishes. :)

Elecia said...

wow, Carolyn, you just made my sister's day, week, possibly even year. Thanks for taking the time to personally thank her. She is pretty down on herself about her writing at times, but I think Rachel is my favorite author ever. From the silly stories she wrote about a horse as a child to the wonderful things she writes about her life and her son now, I always have and always will love her writing.