I had an amazing time in Germany, researching medieval Konstanz and Freiburg, exploring city museums, hiking the Black Forest, and visiting Hildegard of Bingen’s abbey. ‘The Book of Gothel’, my novel-in-progress, is annotated to bits. Below is a gallery of some of what I saw while I was there!
I have to thank the wonderful Sustainable Arts Foundation for the grant that enabled this trip! If you’re a parent artist or writer who needs time to create or money to research a project, they are an incredible organization! I can’t say enough good things about them.
It’s spring break, so I finally have some time to start planning my trip to Germany to research The Book of Gothel. The trip is set for this summer. A few weeks ago, I bought the air tickets, and I’ve just sent off my passport renewal application…
I was thrilled to discover today that my novel-in-progress has received a 2013 Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award! Set in 12th century Germany and the present-day United States, ‘The Book of Gothel’ speculates about the historical roots of some of our most beloved European folktales. The grant will fund my trip to the Black Forest this summer to research the book. Here’s what the Sustainable Arts Foundation had to say about the manuscript:
“Mary McMyne’s novel-in-progress, The Book of Gothel, is one of our favorite kind of multi-layered fictions: it offers both a 12th century woman’s memoir and the story of the modern-day scholar who finds, translates, and annotates it. It is utterly inventive and a real pleasure to read. McMyne lives in northern Michigan with her family and teaches at Lake Superior State University.”
“My clear choice for winner, this manuscript in progress is stunning for a number of reasons. It is a retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey that, quite frankly in my opinion, puts it up on the level of Derek Walcott’s Omeros. That is, while it follows Homer quite closely, it manages at the same time, in a completely natural and believable way, to portray American culture and politics in the 20th century, especially as they pertain to the Deep South. Even the names sound like normal Southern names: Penny (Penelope) has her husband Odell (Odysseus) shipped off to combat in Vietnam shortly after the birth of their son Teller (Telemachus). The writing itself is gorgeously lyrical, culturally hyper-observant, and acerbically intelligent. A real tour de force.”