Saturday, May 10, 2008

In Praise of Good Mothers

Our Mother's Day broadcast on WLUW will feature an interview with Elizabeth Berg, a writer of great spirit and generosity. Elizabeth, a mother and a grandmother, writes with great insight and wit about women's lives, and about marriage and family, so we were thrilled to speak with her at this particular time. And I want to say Happy Mother's Day to my amazing and wonderful mother, my marvelous mother-in-law, and all the terrific mothers I count among my relatives and friends. No work is more important, difficult, and giving than nurturing the young, and standing by your children long after those delirious early years. Love, love, love.

Elizabeth's new book is a collection of short stories as perfectly crafted as they are emotionally and socially authentic: The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation. Berg exemplifies the writer as storyteller and artist, as close listener and keen observer, as empath and charmer. Berg seeks and finds connection with readers, writing clear and embracing prose about so-called ordinary lives with profound respect and joy. She's funny, frank, unafraid to be tender, and a natural and compelling conversationalist. Free of pretension, full of feeling, bemused and benevolent. Smart as can be. Beautiful.

Elizabeth Berg had wonderful things to say, but, alas, we were working without a studio and could do nothing to diminish the roar of the ceiling vents in our borrowed conference room. It was like being on a jet plane. Hopefully once we post the interview, you won't mind joining us as we fly to the land of reading and writing, of fiction and truth. All of us who love to read and write, who love quiet time to think and daydream, are always battling against a million distractions, a cacophony of machine noise, and endless interruptions. The space for stillness and thoughtfulness is always shrinking. But we persist.

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