A person who deserves my loyalty receives it.
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.
At Home in the World is the story of a young woman, raised in some difficult circumstances, and how she survives. It tells a story of redemption, not victimhood.
When people ask what I write about, that's what I tell them: 'The drama of human relationships.' I'm not even close to running out of material.
To share our stories is not only a worthwhile endeavor for the storyteller, but for those who hear our stories and feel less alone because of it.
A good home must be made, not bought. In the end, it's not track lighting or a sun room that brings light into a kitchen.
The vehemence with which certain critics have chosen not simply to criticize what I've written, but to challenge my writing this story at all, speaks of what the book is about: fear of disapproval.
Although Salinger had long since cut me out of his life completely and made it plain that he had nothing but contempt for me, the thought of becoming the object of his wrath was more than I felt ready to take on.
For 25 years, I did take my responsibilities as a pleaser of others sufficiently seriously.
I believe every one of us possesses a fundamental right to tell our own story.
I believed my story would be helpful to young women my daughter's age, who are still in the process of forming themselves as women, and in need of encouragement to remain true to themselves.
I compromised my ability to tell my story, at the most basic level.
I continued to protect him with my silence.
I have long observed that the act of writing is viewed, by some, as an elite and otherworldly act, all the more so if a person isn't paid for what she writes.
I wonder what it is that the people who criticize me for telling this story truly object to: is it that I have dared to tell the story? Or that the story turns out not to be the one they wanted to hear?
If a man wishes to truly not be written about, he would do well not to write letters to 18-year-old girls, inviting them into his life.
If I told you about all the stories I don't tell, I would be violating the very boundaries I set for myself.
It is not the task of a reader to please her subjects.
Long after Salinger sent me away, I continued to believe his standards and expectations were the best ones.
Many women my age have known the experience of giving up crucial parts of themselves to please the man they love.
My job is writing. I get paid to do it. When was the last time you heard someone challenge a doctor for making money off of cancer?
Not only did I avoid speaking of Salinger; I resisted thinking about him. I did not reread his letters to me. The experience had been too painful.
Nothing like being visible, publishing one's work, and speaking openly about one's life, to disabuse the world of the illusion of one's perfection and purity.
Some literary types subscribe to the notion that being a writer like Salinger entitles a person to remain free of the standards that might apply to mere mortals.