September Author Interview: Author #2: Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1953.   She is the daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Anne Sexton.  Linda graduated from Harvard in 1975 with a degree in literature.  After the death of her mother, she became the literary executor of the estate at twenty-one years old and edited several posthumous books of her mother’s poetry, as well as publishing Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters and Between Two Worlds: Young Women in Crisis.  She has written four novels, Rituals, Mirror ImagesPoints of Light and Private Acts. Points of Light was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame Special for CBS television and was translated into thirteen languages.   Her first memoir, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was optioned by Miramax Films.

Sexton’s second memoir, Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide was published in 2011 and takes a hard look at her struggle with her own mental illness and the legacy of suicide left to her by her mother and her mother’s family.

After the serious subjects about which she wrote so candidly in Half in Lovetime for a change had come—and with it, a different perspective  Linda began to delve into the joyful aspects of her childhood, specifically the time spent with the family Dalmatians.  Her family’s love affair with Dalmatians perhaps took root in the fact that these animals always buoyed her mother’s mood and alleviated her depression.  Thus they were cherished for their ability to act as something akin to today’s “therapy dogs,” as well as being beloved companions.

Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians  is a breakthrough book for Linda—a new piece of her literary family’s history, as well as a new look into her own life as an adult.  This memoir also looks into the ways dogs influence our lives, and how they infuse every day with companionship, loyalty and love.  It speaks to the growth of its author into a different phase of her life—one dominated by joy—and uniquely examines how one family, and one breed, found their way through life together.

Linda is now at work on a fifth novel, and continues to live in California with her husband and their three Dalmatians: Breeze and her two sons Cody and Mac, whom Linda and her husband bred in 2011 and 2012.  Mac, now her forty-second Dal, is the model for the jacket photo of Bespotted.

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11 thoughts on “September Author Interview: Author #2: Linda Gray Sexton

  1. […] #2 Linda Sexton When you write memoir, dealing with the truth, however subjectively, and with the privacy and […]


  2. […] #2 Linda Sexton I also write fiction, but I find I feel most absolutely comfortable writing memoir.  I am […]


  3. […] #2 Linda Sexton It varied.  My first memoir, Searching for Mercy Strreet, was well-received and positively […]


  4. […] writing world. We are posting interviews from the Memoirs/Biography genre this month and we have Linda Gray Sexton, the daughter of Anne Sexton sharing her thoughts on “How Much of a Memoir Should Be True?”. We […]


  5. […] #2 Linda Sexton Moderately.  My sister says, “I wish you could find something that would make you happy.” […]


  6. […] #2 Linda Sexton I always feel an immense sense of relief that I have finished a completed work, delighted to have […]


  7. […] #2 Linda Sexton In one review The New York Times Book Review called my writing “purple prose.”  In a review […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] #2 Linda Sexton I want everyone who reads my work to write to me and give me his or her reaction.  It is […]


  9. […] was a pleasure having Linda Gray Sexton writing a guest post for us under the topic “How Much of a Memoir Should Be […]


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