Years before Susan Vreeland wrote the best selling novel Girl In Hyacinth Blue, she attended a gathering where she observed the great love of a family, the Hollys, in which both parents were blind. Below, Vreeland recounts the result of her conversation with their daughter Faith about the obstacles her parents faced in marrying and raising a family.
“Gee, you really have a story here,” Vreeland told Faith Holly. “You ought to write it.”
“You’re the writer,” Faith replied. “You write it.”https://www.svreeland.com/wls-thestory.html
It took about four years but the result was the novel What Love Sees which led to a made-for-TV movie of the same name.
There is much talk these days about staying in your own lane and only writing from lived experience but, in the following passage, Vreeland makes an impassioned case for writers who desire to record the stories of others.
“And especially this: Thanks to art, instead of seeing only one world and time period, our own, we see it multiplied and can peer into other times, other worlds which offer windows to other lives. Each time we enter imaginatively into the life of another, it’s a small step upwards in the elevation of the human race. Consider this: Where there is no imagination of others’ lives, there is no human connection. Where there is no human connection, there is no chance for compassion to govern. Without compassion, then loving kindness, human understanding, peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, and the isolated can turn resentful, narrow, cruel; they can become blinded, and that’s where prejudice, holocausts, terrorism and tragedy hover. Art–and literature–are antidotes to that.”Susan Vreeland, Retrospection: My pledge to art