Author Interview: Wally Lamb

Photo Credit: Darren Wagner

More than two decades after his tales of trauma and redemption catapulted him to literary success, the best-selling author is still inspired by the human struggle—and the power of story to heal.From giving voice to the suffering of a traumatized overweight girl in She’s Come Undone to exploring mental illness and family abuse in I Know This Much Is True, the novels of Wally Lamb have spoken to a generation of readers who recognize their own struggles within his characters.But it may be through his work teaching writing to women prisoners in Connecticut that Lamb, a former high school English teacher, most embodies the idea of the healing power of storytelling.“So many of these women had dark secrets from their past. I could see they were getting better—stronger—as they let those secrets go and found their writing voices,” says Lamb, who also edited two critically acclaimed collections of inmates’ essays. “I could see their burden lightened.”Speaking at the Taos Writers Conference recently, Lamb said he was facing his own struggles when he began volunteering at the prison. He’d been stricken with writer’ …

Jennifer Haupt interviewed novelist Alice Hoffman in the September/October issue of Spirituality & Health.

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