On the Life Stories podcast (available on iTunes), memoir writers talk about their lives and the art of writing memoir. Recently, Rebecca Mead discussed My Life in Middlemarch, which combines elements of her own history with a literary biography of the 19th-century British novelist George Eliot and an appreciation of her most famous novel, Middlemarch — which Mead has read every five years or so for the last quarter-century. "Every time I go back to it," she confides, "my relationship to it has evolved. I see different things in it, and it brings new things to me every time."
Below are some highlights from that conversation — the entirety of which you can listen to right here:
Life Stories: Rebecca Mead, author of My Life in Middlemarch
Mead first read Middlemarch when she was 17 years old...
As she's grown older, her appreciation of the novel has changed...
My Life in Middlemarch has its origins in something George Eliot didn't write...
What was the most surprising thing Mead learned in her research?
Has Middlemarch taught Mead how to lead a better life?
Could Mead have written My Life in Middlemarch with any other book as the hook?
Ron Hogan is the creator of Beatrice.com, one of the first literary websites, where he launched the Life Stories podcast in 2012. He's also a contributing editor at Shelf Awareness, and can often be found expressing an opinion on assorted subjects on Twitter @RonHogan.