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Being Someone I Can Relate To ...


These days women are portrayed as heroes running through woods, flashing swords, guns or light sabers, showing men how to be accurate shots, how to be brave. These are flashy, slender -- always slender -- heroes -- but not women I can relate to.

When American Book Award winner Shann Ray skyped into the Writers As Readers book club, he said an impetus for writing American Copper was his “love for his grandma, wife, daughter. Their fierceness.”

In the book, Evelyn’s powerful dad shapes her strength, confidence and ability to love but won’t let go. She also grieves with a sorrow that throttles her. She kicks clear of both. She doesn’t hate her father, even though, as a copper baron, he tries to possess everything. She chooses to love a man.

Sharon wondered how forgiveness showed up in American Copper when Ray emphasizes it in his TED talk and his life’s work. “I embedded things in quiet ways throughout the novel. Think of Evelyn as a soul bearing moral presence. She, like many of the women I know, are never going to decide for evil against an intimate connection to the wilderness. They will never decide against intimacy.”

I sat up. I want to be like that: a woman who chooses intimacy over a hard heart, who finds it impossible to choose evil. I want to stand up.

I’m Katie Andraski, and this is my perspective.

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