07 Oct Acknowledgement Page
Acknowledgement pages are basically the space where an author thanks folks involved in her life and in her book’s publication.
Some people love acknowledgement pages. Anna North (author of the novel America Pacifica) writing at The Paris Review states, “Acknowledgments also offer an all-too-rare view of the writer as actual human being. I’ve always assumed that everybody wants to read long acknowledgments. I want a glimpse, however illusory, into the author’s personal life; I want to know who her readers were and who her best friend is and who let her stay in their house one summer even though she was anxious and surly and didn’t do dishes.”
Another blogger stated, “I have thanked the people who need thanking, I see no need to do it publicly. They know who they are.”
Sheryl Sanberg, author of Lean In has recently been roundly criticized for her seven-and-a-half pages of acknowledgements. The New Republic states that Sanberg thanks more than 140 people for contributing to her 172 page book. “Sandberg is not entirely to blame: As a first time author, she was merely following recent convention. And as a high-achiever, she was merely outdoing everyone else who has written an acknowledgment section in the past few years.”
I like what Justine Larbalestier says, “My default position is that no one writes alone and acknowledgments are the proof of that, the place where a writer gets to acknowledge their debts.”
I will go with that. I pay my debts. There are many of them. And I am thankful. Thankful to those who lived the African Years with me. Thankful to those who encouraged me to write.
PHOTO: My dear friend and mentor, Pat Ball. Taken at her home in Mongu, Zambia. Our last time there. No electricity & cooking outside. Typical! 1986.