She Writes Press author Jane Binns is ecstatic to share her memoir, Broken Whole, with her readers and we recently got to catch up with the author. Read more about what Jane loves reading and don’t forget to order your copy of Broken Whole.
What inspired you to write Broken Whole?
I felt inspired to write down my experiences beginning in 2003, a couple of years after I had left my marriage. I had not dated very much before I married in 1990. The arena was ripe with amusement, frustration, and confusion – all of which had my attention. The writing was a compass and a friend. I was hoping that by relaying what was going on that I would gain clarity. I was in my mid-thirties and a young mother to my son who was two at the time of the separation. I had finished my second Master’s degree in 1999 and the friends I had had from that time period were getting on with their lives, moving back to their home states. I kept in touch through phone calls and email, but very few were close at hand. I was also the only one who had a child. Writing felt reassuring.
In the beginning, I didn’t envision a whole manuscript with a beginning, middle, and end. It wasn’t until I began sharing the stories that friends encouraged me to “write a book!” The amusing stories were fun to write and were relatable, but the true driver of the book was me figuring out why I couldn’t let go of my on-again/off-again relationship with Steve. He did only one thing very well and that was that he listened to me, and even this was inconsistent. I had to lose everything that had ever made my life stable – my father and my ex-husband – before I could truly stare down the obsessive appeal to someone who offered so little. It took me all the way back to a void created when I was three and how this connected to the lunacy of unfulfilling choices in men.
What’s on your #TBR pile?
Surviving the Survivors by Ruth Klein, Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem, and Brooding by Michael Martone.
Which authors do you admire most?
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, for her lyrical prose used to draw such poignant suffering. I admired her bravery and grace in unveiling the spectrum of humanity. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment in particular. I read that tome in a weekend. I fell in love with the interior of the mad man, guilt consuming all linear thought. Similarly, Doris Lessing’s The Summer Before the Dark was stream of consciousness. Both of these books gave me such permission to let myself unravel on the page. Flannery O’Connor startles and makes me re-read the passages leading up to the moment of judgement or cruelty to discover how she constructed the scene so cleanly. I love how Alice Munro plays with time, deftly leading the reader into decades later, a spare truth unveiled. Mary McCarthy’s bold, critical, and intelligent examination of herself and others emboldened me to do the same.
What books would your readers be surprised to know you love?
The Great Work of your Life by Stephen Cope
Right Use of Will: Healing and Evolving the Emotional Body by Ceanne DeRohan
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Ulysses by James Joyce