Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"This is for Tabby, who got me into it- and then bailed me out of it."- S. King

Almost as soon as you crack open a book, you stumble upon a dedication, and that sentence or phrase is nearly as fascinating to me as the author's work that follows it. Maybe it is because those dedications have their own stories that we are not privy to or maybe it is because it seems to be the ultimate gesture of gratitude....whatever the reason, I always read the dedication before I start a book and again when I finish it. I'm often disappointed when it reads matter-of-factly "To John" or "For Jane" (despite the honor and beauty in those simple words) because I want to know more....

It turns out there is actually a book, "Once Again to Zelda: The Stories Behind Literature's Most Intriguing Dedications" by Marlene Wagman-Geller, that tells us about some of those "John"s and "Jane"s. It was in an article in the the New York Times about this book that I read the story of the dedication to Tabby (the one that is this post's title in fact) from author Stephen King.

For instance, in his first novel, “Carrie,” Stephen King wrote, “This is for
Tabby, who got me into it — and then bailed me out of it.” Was Tabby a cat? No.She’s Mr. King’s wife, Tabitha, whom he started dating in college, after they both reached for the same copy of “The Joy of Sex” in the library. They married in 1971, and Tabby worked at Dunkin’ Donuts to give Mr. King time to write.
When he threw away a draft of “Carrie,” she fished it out of the trash,
encouraged him to finish it, and helped him flesh out the girls’ locker-room scenes. Ms. Wagman-Geller writes that, when the book sold for $400,000,“Tabitha, who was sitting on a sofa that she had salvaged from a yard sale,put her head in her hands and wept.”

It is just the kind of quirky story of inspiration and love I imagine when I read a dedication. To think there are 49 other tales in Ms. Wagman-Geller's book....I will definitely be checking it out.

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant discovery! I love stories like this, I'm definitely going to put that book in my Amazon basket. Thanks for the tip!



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