Last week, we asked Red Roomers to blog about neighbors. There were a lot of wonderful posts this week; clearly, love them, hate them, or wish you'd just learned their name, proximity creates the spark to tell a story. Here are some posts we loved:
- Barbara Ray's post is a hilarious portrait of how midwestern chumminess got on a New York transplant's nerves. Enjoy "Yoo-hoo, Dotty."
- David Corbett warns us that his story of a neighbor boy isn't happy. Don't let that stop you from reading "The Neighbor Who Vanished, or Didn't."
- Two bloggers wrote about countries that are neighbors, but not happy ones. Tina Tessina saved her travel diary from a trip to the border that divides two people within one country; read "Neighbors: Getting Along With Each Other." Indian author Farzana Versey shares her thoughts about the divide between her country and Pakistan in "My Friend, My Enemy."
Three bloggers especially caught our eye this week:
Red Room author Page Lambert moved back to the rural neighborhood where she grew up, and knew she'd found true community when her neighbors mobilized to help find her lost cat. Enjoy the striking images and heartwarming tone of her post, subtitled "Sometimes the most important journey we make is the journey home.
Member Barbara Bell's first post on Red Room is a wistful, funny memory of some very tactful fireman neighbors and some misadventures in baking. We just loved "Neighbors will make you a better person if you let them."
For member Len Boswell, the Beatles song "Being for the Benefit of Mrs. Kite" brings back the vivid neighbor whose brash nosiness didn't seem charming until much later.
They'll receive books about neighbors by Red Room authors. Gina Collia-Suzuki, normally a serious scholar of Japanese art, dealt with hellish treatment from her neighbors by parodying them in her comic novel, The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Guppy. Adam Haslett's first book was a Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist. He's just released his first novel, Union Atlantic, which starts as a "conflict over a piece of land between two neighbors."
Here are some other fantastic entries on the subject of neighbors
- Laurel Anne Hill remembers that her grandmother came face to face with a social revolution in 1970s San Francisco. Read "Clothes Don't Make the Neighbor."
- A depth of a neighbor's craziness builds slowly in Ruth Paget's childhood memory, "The Genius Next Door."
- What seems like a light, charming memory from Cynthia S. Becker takes a heartbreaking twist in her post "Lottie on the Left and Mary on the Right."
- Childhood has its appalling secrets, and for the title character in Michael D. Gage's devastating "Eddy Spaghetti," some kids don't seem to get past them.
- For something lighter and sweeter, you shouldn't miss the letter to her cat that Susan Browne's former neighbors wrote. Read "Zooey's Fans."
- Anyone who's spent time in Los Angeles knows that Tami A. Ruth speaks truth about its free-floating anonymity in her "Thoughts on Neighbors."
- We enjoyed reading about Blair Kilpatrick's ragtag bunch of neighbors in her post "The Foggy Headed Boys: The Band Next Door."
- Dale Estey always posts great entries, and his contribution this week is no exception. He also gets title of the week for "WHEN YOUR NEIGHBOURS ARE MURDERERS." (Cue dramatic chord.)
You can see all the Neighbor blog posts here. I hope you'll choose your favorite, and leave a comment letting the blogger know why you enjoyed it. See all of Red Room's past blog topics listed here, and suggest a few more in the comments. Thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room