Anita Shreve had a confession. Over dinner, prepared by the school’s dining staff at the Head of School’s house, Shreve confessed that she almost couldn’t eat. She always felt nervous before a talk, she said, and was about walk to the Reed Campus Center to lecture on her first novel, Eden Close, and her most recent one, the tentatively titled After All.
Shreve has written 17 novels—including The Weight of Water, The Pilot’s Wife, and The Last Time They Met—and has received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. But, as she confided to small group of faculty at dinner, presenting a public lecture still made her anxious.
By the time Shreve stepped before the wood-paneled podium in the Dodge Room an hour later, though, for the second in the 2012 Writers’ Lecture Series, any pre-talk jitters had melted away, replaced instead with an insightful, often amusing, look at the life of a writer.
“The thing to me that’s so important is the actual pleasure of writing,” she said. “You are creating a universe that takes you out of your normal universe. It’s a fabulous place to be.”