Last night at the writers group, there was another new face, an older woman, as are at about half of the members, and yet another family historian writing her mother’s life story and family exploits.
Among the writers I know, this seems to be a trend: female writers using family history for creative nonfiction, biography, or historical fiction. They are all at least twenty years older than I, meaning the youngest is in her sixties. One seventy-something friend, Nancy, recently published the third volume of historical fiction based on her mother’s life. Kathryn, in her early sixties, is currently organizing notes about and transcribing stories told by her near-century-old mother to write a fictionalized account of her mother’s early life. The new writer, Susan, wants to take readers back to the 11th century, then follow her mother’s family to the present day.
Yet another member of the group, Marguerite, is writing true short stories about her childhood and youth; and Mary is expanding her great-grandparents’ daring romance into a novel.
Other members are writing urban fantasy, fractured fairy tales, outer space adventures, a memoir about raising a severely autistic foster son.
And then there’s me.
Yes, learning about my family history is interesting. I’d love to have the money and the time to do thorough research. But I can’t. Not yet. Still, I know enough interesting details about recent generations that I could write a few short stories, maybe a whole novel, but nothing resembling a viable fact-filled tome.
I wonder, in contrast to all the women using their mothers’ stories or family trees as springboards for literature, are there any male writers out there writing their fathers’ stories? Where are they?