19 September 2006

Anna Quindlen on the Diane Rehm Show

I was listening to the Diane Rehm show yesterday, and she had a very interesting guest - Anna Quindlen, speaking about her new book Rise and Shine.

Did anyone else hear the show? Quindlen had some interesting comments about working motherhood, midway into the interview. See Diane Rehm Show, bottom of the page - audio links are on the right.

The insight she shared that caught my attention - and I'm paraphrasing here - was that when she left the New York Times op ed page to write fiction and spend more time with her kids, she was criticized heavily and some of the criticism was targeted to her as a woman - she was accused of being "fearful of success" in Rehm's words. Quindlen then spoke about "real success." "Life is short. Do something that you really want to do." She found it hard to balance her life as a mother and novelist with the column at the New York Times, so quit the column, giving up the prestige and fame to focus on what mattered to her. And now, she is doing better - in her estimation - has more time with her kids, has the backpage in Newsweek every other week, and a #1 debuting novel.


Edited to add: my review.