A local woman recently published a book of essays she’s written over the last four decades.
Mary Alice Dillman, 91, who considers the book to be her legacy, said she’s been writing “Thoughts in Motion: A Collection of Essays” for the last 40 years, primarily as essays she would read for a group at the Delaware Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
“I’ve given essays for a UU group that I belong to,” Dillman said. “I’ve just written little things through the years that I enjoyed writing. Usually, I take a book or several books and I try to come out of it with a new idea. Many of these are based on a book, but I tried to elevate it to a new idea. It’s based on many novels.”
Dillman said she had 44 essays, which span a variety of topics, including biographies of Edward Coles, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, and John Steinbeck, as well as a review of the legacy of Thomas Jefferson. She asked herself one day, “What should I do with this?”
Dillman said her son, Bradford, is an editor and encouraged her to write a book. Dillman said she began editing the book along with her son after the pandemic started.
“Since the pandemic started I thought, well that gives me something to do,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of editing.”
Dillman said the book was published through Modern Memoirs Inc., based in Amherst, Massachusetts.
“I’m glad that I have the collection put together now,” she said. “I am pleased. It’s never going to be a New York Times Bestseller, but I’m glad for the accomplishment. I feel very satisfied with the quality of my son’s editing and mine, and with the company. It’s an accomplishment that I have made in my 90s. I’m pleased with that.”
Dillman said parties interested in getting a copy of her book can reach out to her at [email protected]
“I’ll give it to the friends that are open to those kinds of thoughts,” she said. “I hope it can be something available to others with other philosophies. I want a reader to take it, think about it, and have a conversation about the ideas. I hope that it will stir some people.”
Dillman said she’s preparing to turn 92, and she’s happy to have the book as part of her legacy.
“I just felt as if I want to have a useful way of leaving my legacy,” she said. “This is the legacy of my thinking about life.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.