For previous posts on the contributors, see these authors who were all featured in the first section of the book, “Mystics and Messengers.”
And from the second section of the book, “Angels Watching Over Me.”
From the third section of the book, “All in the Family: Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, and Grandfathers.”
From the final section of the book, “Friends.”
Claire is “from” Memphis (she moved there from Minnesota when she was ten) but we’ve never lived here at the same time, since she moved to Malibu, California before we ever met. That meeting was at Novel Memphis (bookstore) when she was launching her novel Mourning Dove, back in 2018. Claire asked me to write a review for Mourning Dove, which is set in Memphis and gave me a wonderful peak inside parts of this city I’ve called home since 1988 that I hadn’t really known. I also wrote a review for her novella, Through An Autumn Window. And then her novel Little Tea came out, which only confirmed my initial belief that Claire had something special. A gift. Her prose, like her personality, floats seamlessly with an almost ethereal quality. And she looks like an angel! All good reasons, I thought, to ask Claire to contribute an essay to this collection. And bless her heart (as we say in the south) she also sent me a poem, so I included both of them in All Night, All Day. Since our first meeting we have become close friends, supporting each other as authors, and cherishing our friendship. But here’s a bit about her professional life:
Claire Fullerton is the multiple, award-winning author of four traditionally published novels and one novella. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines including Celtic Life International, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. (And this isn’t part of her official bio, but Claire has recently been participating in acting . . . as in Shakespeare plays! This does not surprise me in the least!)
She thinks she “stretched” the “themes” for All Night, All Day with her essay, “The Power of Three,” which really isn’t about angels or anything mystical, but is very much on point to the theme of end-of-life stories, as she wrote about the final art show of Sooki Raphael, before her impending death. And about the three friends who came together to honor Sooki, including author and owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, Ann Patchett. Ann had written an essay for Harper’s Magazine in 2021 titled, “These Precious Days,” which was the name of Sooki’s show. Here’ an excerpt from the closing paragraphs of Claire’s wonderful essay:
“The Power of Three”
If I could choose one event that fully captures the spirit of loving intention, wrap my arms around it to have and hold as a frame of reference portraying the power of female friendship, I would choose Sooki Raphael’s Santa Monica art exhibit and never forget it. To stand in witness from a position that’s in it but not of it gave me a heightened sensitivity from an aerial view as I watched Ann Patchett, Patti Smyth, and Georgienne Bradley bless their friend Sooki on her way to heaven.
These precious days, indeed. That precious moment.
(Photo is Sooki Raphael.)
But it was so like Claire to also send me a poem about the death of her beloved dog Shadow. Here’s a short excerpt:
“Eulogy for Shadow”
I lack the strength to rise to a world that exists without her,
and there will be no joy if her spirit does not come.
I will lie here until I remember what joy is
I’ve been too long following Shadow’s lead.
I fear I’ve forgotten how to find it on my own.
I am frozen in this bed with the thought of retrieving my
heart from Shadow.