Katie Hafner, author of "Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir" (Aug 12-16)
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It's a cold, foggy -- which is to say, typical -- summer morning in San Francisco.
Just to give everyone a sense of where I'll be chatting from...we live on a hill overlooking San Francisco's Noe Valley. From my window I look out on the neighborhood's many and varied houses, and can see clear across the city to the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and AT&T Park just before it.
The biggest challenge came in forcing myself to dig deep -- that is, not just to report events as they occurred, but to really understand, for perhaps the first time in my life. In that sense, the book was very therapeutic to write.
I have two questions
1) Why do you think this is? Do you think there is a stigma attached to not having the perfect mother/daughter union?
2) How did you deal with your own mother and your various relatives who might not have found this book a engaging as your readers.
BTW- LOVED IT. LOVED IT.
thanks for the questions. And I'm so glad you liked the book.
1. I think it's not so much that women aren't forthcoming with their mother issues, but that it's hard to articulate one's way through those issues. I'm lucky in that I happen to be a writer, so have a way of sharing my own struggles.
2. This is a perennial issue when it comes to memoir writing: how will everyone else in your life respond? I had to write the book in the most honest way I could, and not let myself become paralyzed by constant worries over how others might react.
She likes it! (Even though she is portrayed very honestly, she has been very generous in her reaction.)
And readingwidely, thanks for "wry."
I too had to ask "How can she be doing this?" but I wasn't smiling :-)
The other revelation was the idea of simultaneity of invention. That is, packet switching was brewing in several people's minds at around the same time.
And PeterCat, I'm so glad you liked "Where Wizards Stay Up Late," too! I'm glad you get inspiration from it. The most inspiring part of writing that book was how human the whole enterprise was, from the very start. I'm still friends with a lot of the guys from that book, and I continue to be impressed and inspired by them!
but I wonder if you could
make a general statement on:
What you think of the current "revolution" in publishing
(Traditional> Online, etc.).
What is outstanding about the way it is now vs. the
way it was, say, in ca. 1998?
What are the most important differences to know about -- for writers
who grew up with traditional