When I was in college I took a class called Fantasy Literature, which I thought would be nothing but fun and actually turned out to be a lot of hard work. On the first day of class, our professor told us that we would be reading one book a week, and a paper on that book would be due every Monday. The class collectively groaned, until he smiled and said our papers only needed to be one page long. Then we all cheered. And that’s when he got this wicked little smile on his face.
I’m always looking for good memoirs by women writers and I devoured this one in just a few days. Kvetch is about growing up an Orthodox Jew and a tormented child piano prodigy in South Africa, and offers a rare look at Jewry’s response to the events of apartheid, circa the 1960s. It also goes behind the scenes of two rarefied worlds: classical music performance—and the workings of a California metropolitan daily newspaper.
Before I became a writing coach I didn’t even know that writing coaches existed. However, I did know about editors. I had been running a writing group for a little over five years and had heard various stories—some good, some horrible—about the editing experience. Some of the writers I talked to loved their editor and couldn’t imagine getting to a final draft without them. Others had been burned and vowed never to go back. But no matter what kind of experience they had, one thing was very clear: