|Heidi Lynn Photography|
Location: 1925 Craftsman Bungalow outside Boston
Collection size: 650 (and steadily growing).
The one book I'd run back into a burning building to rescue: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (a signed first-edition would be best)
Favorite book from childhood: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Guilty pleasure book: Diana, Princess of Wales by Martin Gitlin
Assigned to Adventure, a book about women foreign correspondents with a section on my grandmother, Irene Corbally Kuhn. My books have become a metaphor for my life.
|Rene Kuhn Bryant|
Cornelia. Although she edited many more books, and worked as a reporter in the early days of Life magazine, those were her only two published novels, both finished before she turned 30. This shelf anchors me, reminds me of my place in the world. At my mother's memorial service last year, someone asked me what I intended to leave as my legacy, being lucky to have the parents I did. I have to confess the question startled me, gave me pause. While I know my children are my most important legacy, I am proudest to be a mother than any other title I have been called in my life, I now realize that my writing is an important piece of what I will leave behind.
The shelf below represents a more eclectic group of writers, either my favorite writers, or gifts from my favorite people. First, Rumer Godden, China Court, given to me the summer after college by my friend, Marguerite; several collections of my favorite poets, given to me by my mom and other close friends: Mary Oliver; Edward Taylor; The Piano Tuner from my friends Bill and Anna Marie; Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things; Caramelo written by Sandra Cisneros; My Sky Blue Trades by Sven Birkerts who I was lucky enough to teach with; a book on Ruskin which my dad gave me; The Hours; a history of Shanghai during the years my grandparents lived there (where they met and married); Yeats' Collected Poems (when pressed to pick one poet, he's my favorite); The Pain Chronicles, a book I admire by Melanie Thernstrom; a collection of Elizabeth Spires; Louise Erdrich's The Blue Jay's Dance; an Elizabeth Bowen novel; a fascinating book of literary criticism, perhaps my favorite, by Robert Coles: Irony in the Mind's Life; and Joyce's Finnegan's Wake to sate my fascination with the inexplicable. As far as favorite novelists, F. Scott Fitzgerald always comes to the top of my list, as far as my obsession with Princess Diana, there is really nothing to say. Through all the births, deaths, moves, and names, here are the words of my life, unchanged.
Heather Corbally Bryant received her A.B. from Harvard College and her PhD from the University of Michigan. She has taught at Michigan, Harvard, Penn State, and is now teaching in the Writing Program at Wellesley College. She has published a wide range of books from her academic work on Elizabeth Bowen, How Will the Heart Endure: Elizabeth Bowen and the Landscape of War; many articles on Yeats, Eliot, and Sean O'Faolain; a novel, Through Your Hands; and two poetry chapbooks, Cheap Grace and Lottery Ticket. She is currently at work on a work of creative non-fiction, What Our Mothers Never Told Us.
My Library is an intimate look at personal book collections. Readers are encouraged to send high-quality photos (minimum 150 dpi) of their home libraries or bookshelves, along with a description of particular shelving challenges, quirks in sorting (alphabetically? by color?), number of books in the collection, and particular titles which are in the To-Be-Read pile. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.