At Home and Abroad

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Rue Matthiessen Author Castles and Ruins


Rue Matthiessen Author Castles and Ruins
Castles & Ruins is inspired by a summer Rue Matthiessen spent in Galway, with her husband and son. She had lived in Galway when she was approximately her son’s age (6), with her mother, poet Deborah Love, and her father, writer Peter Matthiessen. Their house was on a small island in a huge lake called Lough Corrib. Her mother died six years later, when Rue was thirteen. A year before that, Deborah Love had published a book called Annaghkeen, (1970, named for the castle on the shore across from the island). Rue had always wanted to return to Ireland, to try to find the island where she had lived. Finally, she was able to make a plan, and set out with her husband and son. As soon she arrives, she finds that Ireland is much more than a vacation with an end point, it is a trove of memories—a Pandora’s box. Though her mother had left Annaghkeen, events had been left hanging in time, along with multiple unanswered questions. Rue’s feelings about having lost her rise to the surface afresh, as well as memories of her moody, intense father, who was just then on the cusp of a major literary career. The sixties, and her parents' passionate, always crumbling marriage become vivid, like a film reel before her eyes. Each chapter begins with a quote from her mother’s book, which further illuminates the trip as it unfolds. They drive the circumference of the island, from church to ruin, from charming village to dramatic seaside cliff. Rue finds ancient, wild Ireland unchanged, and deeply familiar. After all, the seeds of her life were sown here. Ireland is where she remembers it all, and discovers her own beginnings. By following coordinates from Annaghkeen, she finds the island and castle at the end, just as she had left them. Rue Matthiessen is based on the East End of Long Island and in New York City. At Bard College she majored in literature, and afterwards was a journalist for The East Hampton Star. She had her own photography studio in Los Angeles for six years. She is an alumna of the Squaw Valley writer’s conference, Bread Loaf, and Curtis Brown Creative. Her completed works include a novel: Woman With Closed Eyes, a novella called The Toast, and a collection of essays on family life, loss, creativity and fulfillment, called Blastocyst. Her book, Buttonwood Cottage, about renovating a house in the Caribbean, is available on Amazon. Her essay, There Was A Time was featured in the summer issue of EAP: The Magazine, and her other essays, Real Life and LSD & ZEN, were both nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Rue was featured in the Bridgehampton Museum’s Distinguished Lecture Series and other speaking engagements. See more at



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 8.94MB - Duration: 38:50 m (32 kbps 32000 Hz)

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