Of late I have been pitching my novel, Four Women. What I realized in some of the helpful rejections is what Chuck Sambuchino said at a writing conference last week. When he asks a writer, Who is your audience? and gets the response “Everyone,” he knows the writer is on the wrong path.
My novel is about the lives of a family with three daughters, set in the 1950’s and early ’60 in Middle America. It’s just before the beginning of the Second Wave of feminism, and the women in this family, mother and three daughters, are living their lives under what a gifted writer friend called the “hushed mid-twentieth century desperation.” I was really struck with the accuracy of that description. Much of what women faced then was both hushed and desperate. It would take decades of striving and fall-backs to realize that women were not “bad” for wanting voice, growth, impact.
In this context, I’m looking into what is called “baby boomer lit.” Not unlike the “chick lit” phenomenon, such a movement could bolster so many voices of those born after the end of World War II, women, particularly, whose stories can now be heard, shared, celebrated.
To some extent, I also explored these issues in my memoir, Searching for Nannie B: Connecting Three Generations of Southern Women.