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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's in a Name?

Sorry if I seem to obsess over the Name Thing.
But I LOVE what Liesl Shurtliff says in her Author's Note to one of my most favorite, fun-to-read, perfectly voiced (is voice a verb yet?) middle-grade novels of 2013, RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.

She, too, seems to collect names.

Here's a thought, from that Note, about names shaping characters, real or imagined.

"Did their parents intuitively know that was the name for them, or did the name have a role in shaping their behavior and self-perception?"

Maybe it's just writers who have unusual names, the names rarely found on any of "those personalized pencils and key chains in gift shops" who obsess over naming things.
She kept looking, between Leslie and Lisa, to no avail. 

Growing up, my name didn't seem unusual. It just seemed un-glamorous. Some days, I wanted my friend Peggy's name, changed to Peggi when she hit High School. 

As Liesl Shurtliff notes, RUMP is her way of answering that age-old question, What's in a name?

I love this book! 
Here's my review from the Christian Science Monitor.

But I also love pondering the influence names have on our persona. 
Would you be a different person if you'd been given a different name?

Is it true of your fictional people?


Anonymous said...

"Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?"

Eileen in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Excellent topic...recently, my dear friend, became a grandmother for the first time...that baby girl has 3 names...(besides the last name) Being from the South, I thought, what about monogramed things....ohhhhh, this is a problem! :))) And now, the mom and dad keep calling her by different names....I know that's confusing to a puppy...a child...well, this will be a good case study!

Eileen in Atlanta

Augusta Scattergood said...

So very true, Eileen. And I hadn't thought about the monogram issues. Oh, dear!