THE WOMAN WHO SPILLED WORDS ALL OVER HERSELF: Writing and Living the Zona Rosa Way by Rosemary Daniell

THE WOMAN WHO SPILLED WORDS ALL OVER HERSELF: Writing and Living the Zona Rosa Way

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A straightforward chronicle--part memoir, part upbeat how-to--of how writing and teaching became entwined in the author's life as leader of Zona Rosa, a Savannah, Ga., writers' group. A self-described ""controversial"" author, Daniell (The Hurricane Season, 1992, etc.) concedes that the frank sensuality and wildness of her published poems, memoirs, and fiction may have inhibited their success. In chapters with titles like ""How I Wrote My Heart Out & How You Can Too"" and ""Writing in the Pink Zone, or How I Became Zona Rosa,"" she explains her attempts to cultivate the untamed in her own consciousness, and her encouragement of her students to do the same, to develop a ""passionate nature."" Daniell notes that, even as a young mother washing diapers at the laundromat and purchasing groceries on credit, she always sensed that language would save her. She alludes to a dark period between marriages when pleasures of the flesh had come to dominate her life. Finally, at the age when her mother had killed herself, Daniell found salvation from her ""potential narcissism . . . the creeping dark of a life without limits"" in teaching. In delineating the objectives of Zona Rosa--named after a Mexico City red-light district--and the experiences of its members (at first women only; men were later allowed to join) over the years, Daniell celebrates the power of the feminine, the intuitive, arguing that writers must not only support one another in their efforts but respect their own choices and material. Appendices include ""exorcises,"" special exercises developed for Zona Rosa. A grouping of favorite workshop recipes (""Melinda's Blintz Muffins,"" ""Claire's Southern Comfort Cake"") rounds out this hybrid work. A lively primer for beginning writers and for writing teachers, and a further demonstration of the unique nature of the ""southern literary woman.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1997
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber