Writer Harriet Doerr (1910-2002) lived her life as a passionate celebration of wisdom and tenacity, memory, and honor.
Doerr left Stanford University in 1929 to marry and raise her family. She returned to the school in 1975 after her husband's death. At the age of 67, she gained her degree in European History. She then turned to writing.
"Writing derives from an accumulation of experience. It's as if you collect facts and observations over time, like a stone to stand on. From there, imagination takes over," she said.
At age 73, her first novel, the semi-autobiographical Stones for Ibarra, received a National Book Award. The story is honest and free of sentimentality. The New Yorker said the novel, "pierces the heart."
The remarkable Doerr also wrote the novel Consider This, Senora (1993) and a collection of short stories, The Tiger in the Grass (1996). Her beautiful words honored the enormous river of her life's experiences, with tenderness, heart, and humor.
Born in Pasadena, California, she was the granddaughter of railroad tycoon Henry Edwards Huntington. "You cannot just waste time. Otherwise you'll die to regret it," she said.
Everyone, everything, matters.