Thursday, February 12, 2009
Posted by Maggie May Labels: dinner party for eight
Annabelle has tagged me to answer this: which 8 people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party, and why?
One, Eleanor Roosevelt A hero of mine, a woman who took a troubled, lonely and painful childhood and turned it to steel inside her, a woman who reinvented herself over and over, a woman married to the most powerful man in the US and yet was never overshadowed in intellect, action or idea, a woman who raised a family and changed the country with her writing, policy and speeches. She created and made happen an entire village of housing for poor people for free that was equipped for them to be self-substainable. She fought for women's rights, civil rights, for children and the poor. She was brave and good and not afraid to look at her faults.
Two, Barack Obama Our first black president, a man who came from loss and created change.
Three, The Dali Lama A peaceful spirit who could help me move toward freedom from fear.
Four, Laura Ingells A pioneer in so many ways, a woman who lived a life so vastly different than mine I can hardly imagine it. She wrote timeless books that helped me as a child, books that are so beloved I don't think there will be a time when they are not read. She was calm and brave and stubborn and loving in the face of a hard, demanding life where people died younger and the elements were in control. I have read her books and all about her life and never tire of imagining living in the Little House in the Prairie.
Five, Sylvia Plath My favorite poet, the one who lit the fire for me. Although years and years have passed since the first impression, I have never had to reassess my opinion of her as the most genius woman poet of image and lyricism, ever. I have never stopped reading her.
Six, Queen Elizabeth An absolutely fascinating woman in a time so incredibly difficult to be alive it's hard to believe it was real. She was a product of her time and yet transcended that in power, intelligence and sheer will. She fascinates me because I can barely fathom bearing the life she had to lead, much less with such iron determination.
Seven, Dave Eggers One of my favorite writers, Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was the first book to engulf me in a very long time. Not all of his novels are as brilliant, but he is insanely creative, intelligent and talented and unparalled in the scope of his productivity. McSweeneys Internet Tendencies is one of my favorite web haunts, and the Valencia writing center (there are more locations now) for children is an amazing place that he created and funded. He also wrote the mind bogglingly moving What Is the What, about one of the 'Lost Boys'- a novel/memoir where he did extensive interviews spanning years with Atchung, a man who lost most of his family and friends to violence in Africa and barely made it out alive himself, and then turned his notes and interviews into a first person story of immense power and grace.
Eight, My Sister Because a life without her in it is never quite right.
Tag You Are It, if you want to be.