Remembering the writings of Sandra Moran
The death of Sandra Moran left us a legacy not only of her stories but also the lessons she was trying to impart to us in her writing.
Sandra Moran’s legacy
Moran wrote a number of strong works like Letters Never Sent, Nudge, The Addendum, All We Lack and the forthcoming State of Grace.
As Ann McMan wrote for Lambda Literary, Moran’s Nudge helped us “perceived that something extraordinary was happening– that things could unfold in no other way. And that we, too, were bearing witness to a sequence of events that would change the way we understood the shared landscape of our lives– and our literature– for generations to come.”
“Through her writing and by her example, she made us look deeper within and further afield than we were accustomed to do. She adopted themes and explored ideas that illustrated and amplified the ways we are bound to each other as wayfaring pilgrims—but that also lay bare the historical, spiritual, and ideological differences that conspire to keep us apart,” McMan added.
Sandra Moran’s breakthrough
Moran made her breakthrough with her debut novel, Letters Never Sent, an exploration of a 1930’s lesbian love story that also dealt with prominent topics like rape and abortion.
She told The Kansas City Star that she really wanted to focus on lesbian themes– culturally and historically– at the start of her writing career. Moran said, “I want stories that are more than girl-meets-girl. I intentionally tried to confront a lot of issues you don’t usually find in lesbian fiction.”
With this work, she managed to reach a mainstream audience with her writing, who told her they connected with her characters. She pointed out, “They’re our mothers and grandmothers and aunts. They’re women we know,.”
Sandra Moran’s Nudge
McMan lamented what we lost with Moran’s death but also celebrated what her writings could teach us.
She said, “Through Sandra Moran’s process of careful, insightful observation– employing the best practices of art and science—we began to understand ourselves, and our plodding journey through time.”
“Under her tutelage we learned that with very good luck and the just the right dose of perspective, we have the potential to live our lives without repeating the same mistakes that got us where we are,” McMan added.
Sandra Moran died last November 7 of cancer surrounded by her family and friends, but she lived a full life. She had been a political speechwriter, a newspaper journalist, an archaeological tour manager, an anthropology professor, a writer– and more importantly, a teacher.