Jane Delury Recommends...

“When I started to work on my first book, The Balcony, I took down the painting that had been hanging on the wall by my desk and replaced it with a taped photocopy of Judy Dater’s 1974 photograph ‘Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite.’ In that photograph, the ninety-year-old photographer Imogen Cunningham looks around a redwood tree, a camera around her neck, to peer at the young and nude model Twinka Thiebaud. Somehow, the Dater photograph reflected the idea of the book that I wanted to write, even if I couldn’t articulate how. It was the North Star over my shoulder, guiding me as I wrote and rewrote during the following months. By the time I finished the full manuscript, that lone piece of paper had been joined by many others: handwritten notes, a chapter outline, drawings of vegetables that grew in one character’s garden, a map of a forest like the one another character walked through, brochures and newspaper clippings, an evocative movie ticket. Currently, I’m doing the same for another book project. Slowly, a new world is colonizing the wall, finding its own logic, becoming its own reality. On days when I feel stuck or overwhelmed, I turn from my desk and look.”
—Jane Delury, author of The Balcony (Little, Brown, 2018)