It is not considered appropriate for a person to define herself in terms of her relationships, although gender, sexual preference and ethnicity are the order of the day.
But here goes: I am the wife of Basil King, a defining relationship in my life. I am the mother of Mallory and Hetty and grandmother of Satrianna, Kirin, Evelyn, and Agnes.
I am a writer because of my small place in American history, as a middleclass white female “bohemian” who has lived an unspeakably orderly life, held down full time jobs, paid taxes and a mortgage, lived in the same house in Brooklyn, New York, for more than 30 years, and raised kids to hold up all kinds of old WASP virtues: honesty, table manners, love of justice, good grammar.
I am a writer because my small place in American history began in Jamestown and most of it centered in the Southern United States, hip deep in the stain of chattel slavery and all its ugly descendants and lulled by the story-telling traditions and linguistic seductions common to that territory.
I have never spent as much time writing as I wanted (or should). Nevertheless, it is here that I am.