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Fanning the Spark, Fanning the Spark, 0817316450, 0-8173-1645-0, 978-0-8173-1645-7, 9780817316457, , , Fanning the Spark, 0817381546, 0-8173-8154-6, 978-0-8173-8154-7, 9780817381547, , , Fanning the Spark, 0817358668, 0-8173-5866-8, 978-0-8173-5866-2, 9780817358662,

Fanning the Spark
A Memoir
by Mary Ward Brown

Trade Cloth
2009. 168 pp.
14 B&W figures
Price:  $26.95 t
E Book
2013. 166 pp.
14 B&W figures
Price:  $24.95 d
Quality Paper
2016. 166 pp.
14 B&W figures
Price:  $24.95 s

In 1986, after years of publishing stories in literary magazines and periodicals, Mary Ward Brown published her first book, the story collection Tongues of Flame. It soon received regional and national attention, and the following year won the PEN/Hemingway Award for fiction. Mary Ward Brown was sixty-nine years old. Though she would go on to write and publish many more stories and a well-received second collection, It Wasn’t All Dancing, Mary Ward Brown’s late acclaim hardly hints at the rich and varied life that prepared the way for her success.
Fanning the Spark is the story of her life as a writer—her upbringing in rural Alabama; the joys of college, marriage, and motherhood; the sorrows of becoming a widow; and a lifelong devotion to writing, writers, and literature, and the company of those who shared those loves, nurturing and feeding her interior life in the face of many challenges, losses, and obstacles, both emotional and material.
Here, in prose every bit as eloquent, evocative, and incisive as her stories, are her remembrances of loved ones; her letters fraught with worry to her son in Vietnam; periods of emotional isolation and unbidden silence; her invaluable friendships with renowned writers, editors, and agents; her love of community and place; and immeasurable delight with every award, speech, and public reading, the many recognitions she has garnered late in life. Above all, it is the story of the competing demands of art and of life, the constant struggle between her need to write and the practicalities of family, duty, and day to day living.

In addition to publishing two acclaimed collections of short fiction, Mary Ward Brown has received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Fiction, the Hillsdale Prize for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Lillian Smith Book Award. She lives in the village of Hamburg, between Marion and Marion Junction, Alabama, in the same house in which she was born and raised.

"Anyone lucky enough to have met Mary Ward Brown will want to read this account of her remarkable life. Those who haven't met her will get the chance here. She recognizes how unlikely it seems that her accomplishments should include becoming a celebrated writer, but no one else could have written the stories she has."
—John Shelton Reed

"Mary Ward Brown is one of our nation's great secrets, and with each book she's gotten better. This one, so much more personal, lets her fans see both how she came to be the writer she is and where so many of her stories came from. It's a cause for celebration to hear from her again, with the echoes of her previous works still ringing with beauty, a soprano singing into a valley, a songbird into the hills. Join me in rejoicing, for she is a rare and distilled talent."
—Tom Franklin, author of Pachers and Hell at the Breech

Also of Interest

Tongues of Flame
by Mary Ward Brown

It Wasn't All Dancing and Other Stories
by Mary Ward Brown

Remembered Gate
Edited by Jay Lamar, Jeanie Thompson

From That Terrible Field
by James M. Williams
Edited by John Kent Folmar