Melissa Delbridge


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Most of Melissa Delbridge’s family accepted her memoir, Family Bible, without too much trouble. Her mother, however, was less than pleased.

“She’s had a really hard time with for a lot of reasons,” Delbridge says, “none of which were the reasons that I thought she would.”

This On the Fly interview was recorded in November 2010 when Delbridge came to Iowa City to read at Prairie Lights and meet her University of Iowa Press publishing team for the first time. Delbridge discusses the kinship she feels to other writers who write about the working class, the ways in which the clock can derail her ability to write, and the necessity of a writer’s ability to focus.

She also considers what it means to be a writer from the South. While she says, “I don’t want to become a professional Southerner,” she also acknowledges the ways in which her home state of Alabama is essential to her craft:

“I hear the state and when I can’t hear it anymore, I go back there. The things that feed me are there. Even if I’m not writing about Alabama I can go back to that place and I feel myself in a way that I don’t anywhere else.”