Remembering St. Paul’s Rosalie Maggio, a great friend of writers

“I feel like there should be a writing plane in the sky circling the world, spreading the sad news that Rosalie Maggio left us” (Michelle J. Edwards).

And so it was, through the 21st century version of a writing plane in the sky around the world: a Facebook post. Rosalie Maggio had died on Saturday September 18 from pancreatic cancer. As word spread, friends and writers (but I repeat myself) cried.


Rosalie may

There was never a best friend for writers; And those of us who live in the Twin Cities, where Rosalie lived for years, feel especially close. Your book, “How to say it: words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs chosen for each situation”, It was the go-to book for those who wanted to get it right; to move the needle, tilt the balance, even the playing field. And when others did not know how to say it, for example, the reporter was referring to the people who “manage” a project, we referred them to the best and most precise option, “staffing”. Or to the politician who calls those who fight fires “firemen”, we suggest the best and most accurate “firefighter”.

Easy, sensible, logical; So what is the problem? In 1989, it was a big problem. The world was very different and gender equality was a burning battlefield. As someone who wrote on the subject, I called Rosalie often, not just to find the right word, but to rage, pity, sigh, cry, and sometimes laugh. Rosalie was an introvert and was often not interested in getting together physically, but at the end of a phone line, she was always present.

“Even knowing that they are alive in the world with one is enough.” (Nancy Spain, “Why am I not a millionaire”, 1956).

The article continues after the announcement.

Was. Even when he moved from St. Paul to the top of his mountain in California, the talks continued. We both grew up in our work, Rosalie writing other books, I moved on to copywriting.

AND “Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – without having to weigh the thoughts or measure the words, but spill them well, just as they are, straw and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take them and sift them. , save what is worth keeping, and ten with the breath of goodness, blow the rest. “(Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,” A life for a life “, 1866)

So Rosalie gave us the dating book! With a book, Rosalie New Beacon Women’s Dating Book, with 16,000 quotes from 2,600 women, broke the old familiar Bartlett-ian idea that, with a handful of exceptions, anyone worth quoting is a man.

Susan J. Berkson

Susan J. Berkson

Rosalie’s collection of women’s quotes, most of which cannot be found in any other collection, opened the door to new sources, new themes, and new wisdom. With curated and witty words from women ranging from Bella Abzug to Ann Zwinger on more than 1,400 topics, this is a must-have treasure, a reader’s delight, and out of print. Hold on tight to your copy and find another high and low.

Who will I call now to rage, pity, sigh and cry? Author / illustrator Michelle J. Edwards, who wrote about Rosalie, “She gave me, and I believe that all of us, her readers, her friends, her family, a fullness of love and support that allowed us to feel that we were up to the task at hand, whether it be being a mother or writing. a novel. Rosalie was sure we could do it. “(Michelle J. Edwards)

Rosalie did, and thanks to her, we now write on the shoulders of giants.

Longtime Twin Cities resident Susan J. Berkson wrote comments for Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, and TPT. Now he writes from his home in Jerusalem.

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