Rocking Herstory

A few years ago, while attending an author event at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, I saw a calendar that proclaimed, “Authors are my rockstars.”  When I reported on the AWP event, “The Historical Women: Reimagining Past Narratives Through the Contemporary Perspective,” I wanted to hold a light in the air to pay tribute to the brilliant panelists.  Min Jin Lee, Danielle Dutton, and Amelia Gray read stunning prose from their respective novels.  I felt fortunate to learn about their characters.  Then, they discussed the origin of their books, point-of-view, and research process.  My awe grew.

I’m grateful to Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies for the opportunity to cover the panel.  Most of my reading and literary study is devoted to memoir and essay.  At a conference with over five hundred literary events, I would not normally attend a panel about historical fiction.  But I left with renewed motivation for telling women’s stories.  I left with a desire to learn more about women who might otherwise be forgotten.  I left wanting to read more fiction as a way of informing my non-fiction craft.  I left remembering that authors…are rock stars.