Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leaving a Mark

Photo: Michael Hale

Virginia Wolf's famous quote: "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" is turned inside-out by Wayétu Moore's memories of the Liberian Civil War in 1989.

"When Liberia was my home, they called it sweet. Sweet was the word I remembered the most during the war. I was five and my father, two sisters and I fled Monrovia and headed north on foot amidst panicked masses of criers — a journey that ended in a small coastal village where we hid from flying bullets and remains of dead families left on the roads. Every dawn while in hiding, my sisters and I joined my father on a cement floor and covered the pages of his small journal with words, using the lead of pencils he carefully shaved down with stones. My favorite word to write was 'sweet,' one that had the power to numb the reality of our 6-month abandonment by peace and civilization. [...]" — from The Huffington Post

"Earlier this year Wayétu Moore and her siblings launched One Moore Book, a publishing company that creates children's books for countries with low literacy rates. [...] Back in New York, Ms Moore is preparing for the next book cycles, which will include children’s stories in Haiti, Bolivia and Afghanistan. She hopes that words and books will serve these children as they served her and her sisters, when they were in hiding in Liberia. She hopes these stories will help “mute the sounds of the war outside.” — from More Intelligent Life

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