A Web Del Sol Featured Writer

Carole Maso

Beached on the hypnotic, lilting lip of a sweet-of a sweet, of a young nymph's clitoris, Sappho sings the world delirious ... Haloed rosy-

Photo by Dixie Sheridan

Carole Maso's literary career can only be described as meteoric. Among the various awards she has received are the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, 1993; National Endowment for the Arts Literature Grant, 1988; National Endowment for the Arts Emerging Artist Reading Grant, 1987; New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1987; and the W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts, 1985. Works she has published include The American Woman in the Chinese Hat, a novel from Dalkey Archive Press, (1994); Pandora's Box, a screenplay (1993); Ava, a novel from Dalkey Archive Press, (1993); The Art Lover, a novel from North Point Press, (1990); Ghost Dance, a novel, North Point Press, 1986 and Harper & Row Perennial Library, 1987.

Ms. Maso received her B.A. in English from Vassar College in 1977, receiving General Honors and Departmental Honors. Since that time she held the positions of Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Illinois State University, 1991-92; Jenny McKeon Moore Writer-in-Residence, George Washington University, 1992-93; and Associate Professor of Writing, School of the Arts, Columbia University, 1993. Currently Ms. Maso is Associate Professor of English, Director of Creative Writing, Brown University.

Carole Maso, from Ghost Dance
She is standing under the great clock in Grand Central Station and she is waiting for me. She does not shift her weight from one foot to the other, checking her watch every few moments, worrying about where I might be. She is not anxious at all, in fact, but calm, peaceful, at ease. She is so beautiful standing there. People whirl around her, talking, laughing, running, but they pause for a second when they see her, turning back to look as they hurry. She focuses in the distance, oblivious, it seems, to the life of the station, and looks straight ahead at a point still some way away, where the poem she has been struggling to finish for days will fall into place. She smiles as she feels herself come a little closer and then rests; there is no forcing it, she knows. She shifts her great attention to me. "Vanessa," she whispers, and she closes her eyes. "Vanessa," she says, guiding me through the treacherous streets to her. Slowly she clears a wide path for me through the snow and, as I step safely, in her mind, from the taxi onto the street, quite suddenly the poem is complete. As she places my foot onto the pavement, puts the fare in the driver's hand, and has me enter the station, she is overwhelmed by an immense, inexplicable joy. Nothing can equal this happiness, she thinks. She looks up at the snow that hugs the high, cathedral-like windows. She is dangerously happy. The day is beautiful. There has never been a better time or place to be alive, she thinks. There is no life more perfect than her own. And she is right.

Selections from Carole Maso's work:

The Art Lover
The Ghost Dance

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