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Pickle Me This

April 12, 2010

Joan Bodger's The Crack in the Teacup

Oh, wow– I just finished reading The Crack in the Teacup, such a tremendous book. As I read it over the last four days or so, I kept clutching its bulk and thinking what an amazing device this is with such transporting properties. Joan Bodger’s life was never, ever boring, from the grandmother who was killed in a shipwreck, to her unconventional girlhood as the daughter of  a sailor, her stint in the army working as in decoding, the terrible sadness of her family life, what she learned about story and its power to transform children’s lives (and what I learned about Where the Wild Things Are in reading about this), her fascinating work in early childhood education, the loveliness of her second marriage, her shamelessness (which is learned, and earned with age), her honestly, her passion, that she placed her husband’s ashes in the foundations of the Lillian H. Smith Library which was then under construction.

Anyway, it makes me wonder what came first. Does she tell stories this way because of the stories she’s lived through, or do they only seem to be stories because she tells them as such? Regardless, the rest of us are lucky for them.

Bodger wrote How the Heather Looks which I read last month, and I’m pleased to say that this memoir behind the memoir didn’t run the former for me. If anything, I’m so grateful for the paperback release of How the Heather… because I might not have encountered Joan Bodger otherwise.

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