“By digging and digging the truth is discovered.”
– Telugu Proverb
As a writer, I am interested in the intersections between memory, image, and narrative, and the ways in which the things we unearth – photographs, artifacts, ephemera, and other fragmentary evidence – can help narrate a life.
For quite some time, I have worked on Dangerous Archaeology: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother (and Others) – a memoir in fragments (with photographs by Autumn E. Monsees), a mixed-genre project that springs from my research into my mother’s unusual and complicated childhood in rural South India as the daughter and granddaughter of foreign missionaries. I have imagined myself as an archaeologist, digging and digging my way to some kind of truth, some kind of understanding.
Started privately in 2013, interrupted, begun anew at a transition point in my life, this blog will move me into new territory. Where it will take me (and you, dear reader/viewer), I do not know. So…
With this blog – part field notebook, part gallery space, part meanderings, musings, and asides – I continue to unearth the fragments before me and sift out what it might mean to narrate a life, piece by piece.
Here, then, is one writer’s excavation.
Martha Andrews Donovan