Today I welcome author Meera Klein to my blog. Her book, My Mother’s Kitchen, started out as a memoir about growing up in her mother’s kitchen before being turned into a fiction book that includes 25 recipes.
Guest Post – A Late Bloomer…I mean…Writer
I’ve always been enthralled by the power of words. I fell under the spell of the spoken word as I listened to my grandmother’s stories. Her tales, told in our native language, had the ability to transport me to another world. I fell in love with the written word when I learned to read. The beauty of the English language captivated me and I became addicted to reading. It was while reading that I realized deep in my bones that I wanted to be a writer.
But desire alone isn’t always enough. In my teens and 20s I wanted to write but I found I had nothing worthwhile to say. So I opted for a career as a newspaper reporter and for years journalism soothed my soul. But in my 30s I gave up newspaper reporting to become a full-time mother. The minutiae of daily life kept me busy and a good night’s sleep was more important than writing.
In my 40s I was restless and the need to write was a persistent itch, tantalizingly just beyond my reach. It was my mother’s death that finally gave me the impetus to write. I realized with a shock that I wasn’t going to live forever. So in my late 40s I finally found my writer’s voice.
It is a voice that is honed with experience. From comfortable middle age I can look back and write about my youth with compassion. Years have softened my memories like an old sepia photograph, yellowing with age.
The decades may have sharpened my powers of observation but this writer’s life I have chosen is not easy. It is fraught with rejection and loneliness. But writing has taught me to savor the simple things in life. The soft snores of my sleeping dog bring me comfort. A cold bright December day fills me with hope. I can appreciate the passing of each season and look forward to the heat of summer and crisp fall evenings with equal enjoyment. As my sons’ mature into young men, I appreciate the wonder of life and growth. Writing has taught me that each fleeting moment is meant to be nurtured and relished. I want the next few decades to be filled with joy, not regrets.
My Mother’s Kitchen is an enchanting place filled with promise, change and good food. If the weathered walls of this magical room could talk they would tell the story of Meena and her childhood life. Each chapter is a slice in her young life and depicts her spunk and youthful spirit. A visit to the local Fruit and Flower Show becomes an adventure as told by Meena. Her distress at finding out about her aunt’s dark secret or her joy of making a new friend are all told in her naïve, yet pure voice. Her mother is a central character in her life and it is no wonder that the kitchen is a special place of healing and rejuvenation, not only for Meena, but for other characters like Kashi and Ayah.
About the author
Meera Ekkanath Klein is the author of the award-winning debut novel, My Mother’s Kitchen: A novel with recipes. For more information about her book, please visit her website.
You can purchase My Mother’s Kitchen on Amazon.