Where are you sitting as you read this? Are you at home, or somewhere out in the world, a new version of yourself in a new place?
Whether we accept it happily, or fight to get away, home has an undeniable influence on who we are. Would you be the same person you are now, if you came from somewhere else entirely?
Creative people often credit home with shaping who they are, and the work they do. Would Björk have become who she is without Iceland? Oasis without Manchester? Frida Kahlo anywhere but Mexico? And lots of writers have strong associations to particular places: Marian Keyes, Dublin. Stephen King, New England. Anne Tyler, Baltimore. Others, of course, write about places far removed from their own reality. But the lens through which they see their fictional worlds is irrevocably tinted by the life they’ve experienced up to that point, for good or bad. Embrace it as an ideal, or hold it up for criticism and ridicule…it’s all part of our own true story.
I love getting an insight into where people come from, but as a New Zealander, it’s not often that I find something so close to home. Lorde (a writer of songs rather than books) has made a video about the place she’s from – kind of a love letter to her home. It’s a little peninsula in a bigger city, with a small-town sense of community. It’s beachy, friendly, creative and full of character…and I’m lucky enough to call it home too. Thought you might like to see it.