“I hate to hear myself. I never listen to an interview. I don’t sound like the person I think I am.”
– Jessamyn West interviewed for the Paris Review, 1977
Totally forgot one of the things I wanted to add last time I typed in this box. WNYC has an Archives and Preservation department. They got a grant. They are putting their old stuff on the air and online. I think I’ve mentioned in the past how I like Jessamyn West’s writing and how I’ve always imagines she would have been a neat person to know. She liked writing in bed, she didn’t suffer fools gladly, her books had compelling and interesting female (and male) characters and she always looked snappy in photographs. I’ve read a lot by her–she sent me a few cards as part of a “write a letter to someone famous” assignment I had in elementary school–but never heard her voice. Here is a speech she gave at a Book and Authors Luncheon in 1960: Jessamyn West on an Author’s Responsibility to Her Readers . Ignore the photo of her, it’s from fifteen years earlier.