Summer Wood is the author of Arroyo. In 2007 she was awarded the Literary Gift of Freedom from A Room of Her Own Foundation for her work on Wrecker. She teaches writing for the University of New Mexico's Taos Summer Writer's Conference and in 2009 directed the first annual NEA/Taos Big Read. She is currently the director of the Young Writers' Mentorship Program and has lived in Taos for the past 20 years.
This biography was last updated on 02/03/2011.
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This book is set, mostly, in the wilds of California's Lost Coast. What made you decide to
place it there?
Well, it starts in San Francisco, actually, in a little corner of a park Rolph Playground that you can still go to. I lived in San Francisco throughout my twenties and loved that city with a kind of fury. Still do. I feel a little like a baby duck that's been imprinted with a kind of alternate mother. And so it seemed natural to me that Wrecker would be born there, that his birth mother would gravitate there and that well, it was the sixties there would be a jazz saxophonist, and well, you know, all that.
But it was pretty clear that the story I wanted to write, the story of an unlikely group of misfits coming together to raise this boy, that wasn't a city story. These people were trying to get away from civilization and its constraints. People like that, they moved to Humboldt County. I almost did, but I was a couple of decades too late. I got to know the area pretty well, though, because a friend had a family place up there. I'd go up every chance I got. And I was totally enchanted. The landscape is so wild, so lush it's a temperate rainforest, you know, those old ...
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