Delia Owens talks about her breakout novel, Where The Crawdads Sing. It explores isolation, connection and the healing power of Nature through the story of a young woman who lives as a hermit in a salt marsh.
Then, another novel, this time about Nature gone awry. We re-play our 2012 interview with Barbara Kingsolver about her book, Flight Behavior.
And finally, Francesca shares her story about a man who hunted healing plants in the wild regions of southern France. It’s from her memoir, Province of the Heart. Continue reading →
In 2001, one week after the 9/11 attacks, I arrived in the rugged, sparsely populated region of southern France’s Haute Provence for a long-planned stay. I had come to write about my father’s role in one small corner of a decades-old war, World War II, but found myself paralyzed by 9/11 and the U.S. response. In this frightening new reality, the book seemed irrelevant. But, as I tried to come to grips with this world torn apart, an entirely different book emerged, one I came to call “Province of the Heart.”
I settled in a tiny village of no more than one hundred souls, in the shadow of the mountain where the great Provençal writer Jean Giono had once created a community of visionaries dedicated to the land and its people.
Over the eight months I lived there, that land and its people stitched my world back up again, through the deep succor of the relationship between humans and the natural world that embraced them. Yet my neighbors were no innocents living out of time; instead, they clung more fiercely to the beauty they had for knowing how much it was threatened.
The following is one story from Province of the Heart, “The Cure Hunter.”Continue reading →
There is no Provence. Whoever loves it, loves the world, or loves nothing. –Jean Giono, Rondeur des Jours.
I woke at dawn. I had slept fitfully, thinking of my impending departure. I pulled on my shoes, took up my walking staff one last time, and headed out the door as the cat Poutin scurried past my feet into the house, looking for breakfast after a long night out.
The sky was a limpid blue with ropy trails of pink and gray-tinged clouds. The ground was dry, even at that hour, and the stony earth commented on my passing, while the wind sighed regretfully in the trees that bordered the village.
As I descended the plateau, I heard a duet of cuckoos calling to each other across the valley in contrapuntal harmony, bidding me mark the time. The church bells of the neighboring commune struck the half hour — 6:30. Sheep bells chimed from across the valley, as if in answer. Continue reading →
Nutritionist Deborah Kesten shares the results of her research into losing weight and keeping it off. Her book is MAKE WEIGHT LOSS LAST. Then, Francesca’s story about a master chef’s philosophy about food. And Drew reviews ALL THE ART THAT’S FIT TO PRINT (And Some That Wasn’t): Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page and talks with the author, Jerelle Kraus. Continue reading →
We talk with National Endowment for the Arts chairman Dana Gioia about poetry, the state of reading in America, and what government can do to promote literature. We also play a selection from POETRY OUT LOUD, a CD produced by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation. On our show for broadcast, we read Jour de l’An, an excerpt from a story about New Years Day in Provence by Writers Voice host, Francesca Rheannon, but are unable to include it in this podcast, since it has copyrighted music embedded, and the musician complained. (Some say rebroadcast on the Web from licensed radio broadcast is legal, but WV prefers to take this portion of the show down). But you can read the whole piece here — and get the story’s delicious Internet Apple Crisp recipe! It was a “hit gastronomique” in Provence.