Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Club- Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd*

The Desperate and Downtrodden Book Club- Episode 2- Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd

Fade in theme music. Roll opening titles. Cue Host.

Host- Welcome to The Desperate and Downtrodden Book Club!  On this show, we explore books that inspire and uplift the desperate and downtrodden. Please welcome my guest, best known as the author of the New York Times Bestsellers, The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid’s Chair, Sue Monk Kidd!

Pause for audience applause.

Sue Monk Kidd- Hello, Everyone!  Thanks for having me on your show, Jenny.
Host- I am so pleased to have you here to discuss your latest work- Traveling with Pomegranates: a mesmerizing memoir of a mother and daughter struggling with transition- you turning 50 and realizing you needed something more in your career and your daughter, Anne, leaving the security of college, unsure of her future, and facing failure for the first time.  How was it working with your daughter?
Sue Monk Kidd- It was fantastic when she wasn’t depressed and I wasn’t self-absorbed in my own fears of failure in writing my first novel.
Host- Wow!  Thanks for being so honest, Sue.  We don’t often get that on television. As a career woman and a mother, I gleaned motivation from both of your mêlées with life.  I related to Anne’s crippling uncertainty of her life’s ambition and your all-consuming need for more substance in your career.  How did traveling Greece and Turkey facilitate your choices?
Sue Monk Kidd- Traveling puts relationships in a pressure cooker.  You can’t hide your emotions for long on a three-week tour; eventually, your inner thoughts come out.  Although difficult, it is cathartic. Also, traveling allows you to explore new facets of your soul.  I have always gravitated to the spiritual and seek out locations that feed my chi. Greece and Turkey are teeming with transcendent locales.  Put family and spiritual journeys together and you have a recipe for change.
Host- So if someone was burned out and bored with her life, would you recommend traveling with her family to facilitate her deep-seeded need for change?
Sue Monk Kidd- I would tell that woman to set forth on her journey and not look back.  As Auntie Mame said, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
Host- So you're telling me to do it- quit my job and spend a year traveling with my family and searching my soul for answers to what to do during my next stage in life.
Sue Monk Kidd- I didn’t say…
Host- That’s all the time we have today. 
Sue Monk Kidd- But, I…
Host- Thank you so much, Ms. Monk Kidd, for being my second guest.  Her life-altering book is Traveling with Pomegranates. If you are seeking a new life, The Desperate and Downtrodden Book Club also recommends Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, my debut guest- don’t cheat yourself by just watching the movie; Julia Roberts is great, but it glosses over her spiritual search- and Under the Tuscan Sun by Francis Mayes - if you’re pressed for time, this one is okay to just watch the movie; the film demonstrates three-act life renewal better than the eloquent, but elongated Mayes memoir.  (I mean she goes on and on about renovations and Etruscan tombs and never shows us her life.)  Tune in next time when my guest will be the ghost of Jane Austen.

Fade in music. Roll end credits. Fade out.

* The author wishes to be truthful and admit that although she met Sue Monk Kidd at an author’s luncheon at the University of South Carolina- Beaufort, she did not conduct an interview with her about her book.  The actual conversation went something like this:
Author- I loved The Secret Life of Bees!
Sue Monk Kidd- Thank you, I’m so pleased to hear that.
Author- (Handing Ms. Monk Kidd a new copy of Traveling with Pomegranates for her to sign) When I was a girl, I had bees in my closet, too.  Sometimes at night, I can still hear their buzzing.
Sue Monk Kidd- (Smiling as she hands the signed book back) Small world; I hope you enjoy my new book.
Author- Thank you, I’m sure I will.

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