Joan Anderson

Joan Anderson

Harwichport author Joan Anderson knows a lot about beginning anew. Click on the homepage of her web site and you are greeted by this quote: “I am as unfinished as the shoreline along the beach, meant to transcend myself again and again.” It’s a philosophy reflected in her five memoirs and in “Stretch Marks,” her recently published collection of essays.

A Year By The Sea,” recently made into a movie, is the first of Joan’s memoirs. It details the year she came to the Cape instead of relocating with her husband, a move necessitated by his new job.

I became known as the woman who ran away from home,” Joan said, “but really I was running to myself, to learn in mid-life who I was, who I wanted to be.”

As we talked recently about the upcoming New Year and what it meant to her, Anderson said January is the one month we “should” have time to read.

I take the first two weeks off after all the chaos and craziness of December to actually contemplate a new year full of things that never were. I don’t create resolutions but contemplate intentions. In Greek that means to stretch toward something. I try to fill this transition time with good music, art, and serendipitous moments with friends that might help me breathe new life into being.”

Here are Joan’s January picks:

“DEARLY BELOVED” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a real look at what goes on in people minds during a wedding, how fragile they are, how we are all human and make mistakes and yet the idea of love makes us try and try again.

WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. A Jungian Bible for all women who seek to understand their strengths, fortitude, and the legacy they need to leave behind. This book alone began my quest for self.

THE BOOK OF AWAKENING” by Mark Nepo. This daily reader offers a new vision for me each day and offers comfort, peace and enlightenment.

THE OUTERMOST HOUSE” by Henry Beston is a classic. Beston’s account of spending one year, thus four seasons, on the Cape’s great beach was the inspiration for me to settle here and find my sense of place.

VOICE LESSONS” by Nancy Mairs. Her honest writing dared me to be honest, even while embarrassing myself from time to time, in order to share truth with my readers. Thank you, Nancy.

Keep Reading: Meet Anne LeClaire click here or the discover more button below!


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