For this week’s Yarn Along I decided to share a book I’ve owned for a few years but am finally getting around to reading Clyde Edgerton’s The Floatplane Notebooks. As I have mentioned before, Clyde was a professor I studied under in college. He also is a wonderful writer and captures things about the South some of us choose to overlook. Floatplane is the history of the fictional Copeland family of Listre, NC (a fictional town also used in Edgerton’s Raney said to be based on Buies Creek, NC). Clyde captures voice exceptionally well which is particularly evident in Floatplane as chapters are told by various characters including, a wisteria vine. I received this copy as a gift while I was in my senior seminar with Clyde and he was directing my senior thesis. He graciously offered to sign it for me. I’ve included a picture of the inscription he left.
It reads: For Kristen—Keep writing—keep observing—keep gathering material. In admiration of your commitment and talent—Clyde Edgerton. Those probably remain the most helpful, influential, and supportive words I have ever received and to get them from a giant of American fiction blows me away. While I do not write much fiction at this point (my characters voices started to get a bit quieter when my children’s voices started to get louder), I do think I am still doing what Clyde suggested. My bent is decidedly more non-fiction now and as Clyde would say all writing is exercising those literary muscles. Even blogging.