Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

and then she became a Communist

At a reading at Eastern Oregon University, someone in the audience asked what books I read as a child, but I wouldn’t answer. I could only think: Gone with the Wind, three times, and how could I explain that? I read Gone with the Wind and I read, accidentally, what I think must have been Naked Lunch, which I found on my older sister’s book shelf.. I read The Group and then had to hide it from my friend Kathy Walsh, who wanted to read the sex part over and over again. I loved fairy tales. I read plays out loud, pretending I was an actress. I read about Bonnie and Clyde. I read a book by a priest who had left the church and Sr. Agatha told me she once knew a girl who thought she could read anything she wanted and she ended up becoming a Communist. During one particularly religious period, I read the Bible every night. I read trashy books and I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Scarlet Letter. I read Pearl Buck and I read comic books. I loved Archie and Veronica.

Categories: books, Catholic Church, memoir, reading

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