cooper.pdf

2 it was with trepidation that i revealed to ms

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titles; the works dramatically pointed to the person behind the writing. 2 It was with trepidation that I revealed to Ms Hunter the insight gained from exploring her writing through a complex, ever evolving kaleidoscope. The spiritual journey embarked upon by Coll, the young crippled orphan challenging invading Roman soldiers in the Carnegie Award winning title, The Stronghold 3 paralleled that of Martin Crawford, the soldier/scholar serving Robert the Bruce during Scotland’s thirty -year war through the pages of The King’s Swift Rider . 4 It was, however, the journey undertaken by Bridie McShane, Ms Hunter’s pseudonym for the protagonist in The Sound of Chariots , (the 1992 Phoenix Award recipient) 5 and Bridie’s continuing odyssey in Hold On To Love , 6 that illuminated the fact that Mollie Hunter and her protagonists were synonymous. Mollie Hunter was Coll, questioning the fallibility of organized religion in first century Scotland; she was the intellect seeking spiritual solace in The King’s Swift Rider . The writer, Bridie McShane, who was denying, challenging and bargaining with the very God she claimed was dead, was and is Mollie Hunter. For almost eight decades Ms Hunter has declared that God died on the day that her beloved father was taken from her, yet every book has served as a vehicle for her spiritual quest. The 1975 May Hill Arbuthnot lecture, ―Talent Is Not Enough,‖ was not merely a philosophical discussion of Mollie Hunter’s belief that ―in a writer’s life comes the situation where he or she is faced with all the implications of his own personality in relation to past events and future possibilities,‖ it was a declaration of the instrument she has employed on her quest for God. 7 When presented with the insight my kaleidoscope had provided, Mollie initially expressed surprise, followed by affirmation. That conversation with Mollie was concluded with her words of encouragement. And so I am continuing the commission to illuminate the work of a Scottish national treasure through a refocused lens. 2 Hunter, Mollie, Talent Is Not Enough (New York: Harper & Row, 1975). 3 Hunter, Mollie, The Stronghold (New York: Harper & Row, 1974). 4 Hunter, Mollie, The King’s Swift Rider (New York: Harper & Row, 2000). 5 Hunter, Mollie, The Sound of Chariots (New York: Harper & Row, 1972). 6 Hunter, Mollie, Hold On To Love (New York: Harper & Row, 1983). 7 Hunter, Mollie, ―May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture,‖ Talent Is Not Enough (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 4 30.
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Forum on Public Policy 3 The Friend It is as difficult to separate Mollie Hunter’s writing from the friend as it is to delineate religion, culture and philosophy in her works; the tapestry is so interwoven that it is virtually impossible to disconnect the author from her life, culture, philosophy and spiritual journey. Ms Hunter has acknowledged that she ―lives each story to the point of being transferred to a different time and place‖. She has frequently become so immersed in the writing that she has become oblivious to all else; she was imprisoned the Castle of Lochleven as the young Mary Queen of Scots, 8 walked
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