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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Shania Twain: An Inspiration to a Writer

The other day I read a piece whose title “How Shania Twain Made Me a Writer” by Emily Yahr caught my attention:  It’s one of the essays included in a book Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives, edited by Holly Gleason, which is being released today. 

In the essay, Yahr, a reporter for The Washington Post, writes that as a grade 8 student in 1999, she was asked to write an essay about someone she admired.  She chose Shania Twain:  “I will always admire the woman who put everything before her career. Who never gave up no matter how bad it was. Who’s [sic] songs tell the basics of life. Who everyone should strive to be like. Who is more than just a voice. Shania Twain.” 

Yahr’s article piqued my interest because back in the early 1980s I taught Shania Twain in Grade 12 English at Timmins High & Vocational School.  Of course I knew her as Eileen Twain.  I love to tell people that my husband and I chose a song by one of my students for our first dance; “Forever and For Always” is the song we first danced to at our wedding.

I was a feminist even when Shania was a student so I like to think I inspired her in some of her views.  For that reason, I loved another article written about her:  Who knows, perhaps I did. 

Regardless, I hope Shania reads Yahr’s essay.  To be told one has been an inspiration is a great gift.