Sunday, 30 May 2010

CALABASH REPORT: Chatting with acclaimed author Bernice McFadden

LIT LADIES: McFadden flashes an easy smile; (above) with Calabash attendee Martha

The author of six widely praised novels, including Glorious, Sugar and The Warmest December, which Toni Morrison hailed as “searing and expertly imagined,” New York writer Bernice L. McFadden (one of the three delightful authors who opened Calabash Saturday) is a true talent with excellent taste for language – plus she is a total doll in person.

Why do you write?

Bernice McFadden: It’s just something I’ve always done. It’s like breathing. It’s very organic. Even when I don’t want to, I have to do it.

How do you find the Calabash atmosphere?

McFadden: This is wonderful; this is how it should be – a part of nature, not enclosed in a room or a conference centre. This is the way it should be. It’s fabulous.

What are you reading now?

McFadden: Well, I’m just starting to read The Known World [by Edward P. Jones]. I should have read it a long time ago (Laughs).

Care to share what you’re working on next?

McFadden: I am working on a novel entitled The Gathering of Waters, and also a book about Emmett Till.

Why Emmett Till?

McFadden: Whatever comes to me I write. I obey.

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