Julia Darling was the first writer I knew to get an email address, probably in 1997 just after we’d been to Galway together, to the International Women Playwrights’ Conference held there. We went to one of last plenaries and one of the American delegates was saying how everyone should really get email. All the Canadian women nodded, knowing how its swiftness had banished distances in their vast and stretched out expanses. We English and most of the Irish blinked in befuddled incomprehension – wasn’t this just fashion? But Julia soon embraced it. She wanted to be heard, as one African woman at the conference put it – on every continent. Her generosity of expression also extended to generosity with her own writing tools – she gave me not only her first little Mac laptop once she’d graduated to another, but also time and space to write in her room in Charlotte Square. She was also the first writer I knew to have a designated writing space outside her home. She was the first writer I knew to have a blog.
It seems appropriate then to start this in the month that will see a room dedicated to Julia in Newcastle’s Live Theatre. Appropriate because I have been gifted with the task of adapting her last novel The Taxi Driver’s Daughter for the main theatre there, to inaugurate the room.
Room, writing, blog – dedicated to Julia’s wish for and wisdom about writing’s indeliblity