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00:00:02 - Kentucky Writers Oral History Project introduction

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Partial Transcript: This is an oral history interview with Pat Carr conducted by Linda Beattie for the Kentucky Writers Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer and interviewee are introduced and the date and location of the interview are given.

Keywords: Bowling Green (Ky.); Kentucky; Kentucky writers; Literature; Oral history; Pat Carr; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Kentucky--In literature.; Kentucky.; Literature.; Oral history.; Western Kentucky University

00:00:23 - Family history

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Partial Transcript: What is your full name and where and when were you born?

Segment Synopsis: Carr tells her family history, how she was born in Wyoming, but her mother's family was from Georgia and her father's from Kentucky, and thus why she has cousins in Kentucky. She also talks about how her mother was adopted but never legally.

Keywords: Bowling Green (Ky.); Flemingsburg (Ky.); Grass Creek (Wy.); Kentucky

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Kentucky.

00:04:02 - Her brother and sister / their childhood and education

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Partial Transcript: What about brothers and sisters?

Segment Synopsis: Carr says she has an English professor sister and a nuclear physicist brother; all three siblings have PhD's. She talks a bit about their childhood, where and how they played, and her experiences on either end of teaching, as student and educator.

Keywords: Bowling Green (Ky.); Education; Grass Creek (Wy.); Houston (Tex.); Los Alamos National Laboratory; Siblings

Subjects: Carr, Pat M.; Childhood; Education.

00:07:14 - Early interest in reading and writing

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Partial Transcript: Uh, did you have a favorite subject in school, early on, or?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her early interest in reading and writing, strongly inspired by her father's love of reading despite having only a high school education. (After his death, they found tons of written manuscripts of his.) She also mentions her strong but ultimately secondary interest in painting inspired by her mother, a very creative seamstress.

Keywords: Education; Grass Creek (Ky.); Kentucky writers; Literature

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Families.; Literature.

00:15:15 - Moving around and further education

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Partial Transcript: Um, you said you were twelve when you went to New Mexico with your parents?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her academic success in school despite moving around a lot, and why she ultimately chose not to go to medical school even though she wanted to.

Keywords: Childhood; Schools

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education

00:18:18 - Attending Rice University

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Partial Transcript: Um, what did you do after high school?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses why she and her siblings chose to attend Rice University, and her and her sister's differing college experiences. Carr loved it, both academically and socially.

Keywords: Families; Rice University

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education, Higher; Higher education; Rice University

00:22:01 - Writing in college / her teaching philosophy

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Partial Transcript: What about the writing class, then?

Segment Synopsis: Branching off of a discussion of Carr's own college creative writing class, Beattie inquires about her philosophy when it comes to teaching creative writing, which turns out to be strongly inspired by her own experience.

Keywords: Education; Rice University; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Rice University; Western Kentucky University.

00:29:53 - Career ambitions / early married life

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Partial Transcript: Had you worked outside of school at all, through these years?

Segment Synopsis: Carr further discusses her writing during college, as well as her library job at the time, and how she went on to get a master's degree in English and then got married.

Keywords: Kentucky writers; Literature; Rice University

Subjects: Authors.; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Literature.; Marriage; Writing

00:32:53 - Integrating Texas Southern College / her children

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Partial Transcript: So I fled back to college.

Segment Synopsis: Carr talks about being mistaken for an African American while teaching at the all-Black Texas Southern College, and how she became "invisible" when at conferences with her colleagues. Her office-mate by chance, was Toni Morrison. She also briefly talks about her children and where they are now.

Keywords: Education; Professors; Rice University; Texas Southern College

Subjects: Education.; Rice University; Texas Southern College; Western Kentucky University.

00:37:49 - Getting her doctoral degree / influences on her writing

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Partial Transcript: And what did you do after--

Segment Synopsis: Carr talks about her pursuit of a PhD in English at Tulane University, writing a dissertation on Sean O'Casey. She and Beattie then go on to discuss their differing opinions on James Joyce, another Irish writer, and the potential of his influence on her.

Keywords: Kentucky writers; Literature; Tulane University

Subjects: Literature.; Tulane University

00:42:22 - Her ex-husband's alcoholism / moving around / influence on her writing

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Partial Transcript: Um, you say you were in that marriage for fourteen years?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses moving around with her husband for his job and the progression of his alcoholism, culminating in the end of their marriage. She also talks about her time living in South Africa. These two aspects of her life's influences on her writing are also discussed.

Keywords: Alcoholism; Literature

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Literature.; Marriage; Writing

00:48:20 - Living and teaching in New Orleans

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Partial Transcript: Where did you move back to when you came back to the States?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her time teaching in New Orleans, first at the rich, black Dillard University and then at the integrated, working-class public University of New Orleans, and her varying experiences at each college. She also further talks about her marriage struggles, and how having an affair wasn't fixing her marriage.

Keywords: Dillard University; Education; Literature; Louisiana; New Orleans (La.); New Orleans University; Texas Southern College; Tulane University

Subjects: American South.; Education.; Literature.; Writing

00:50:47 - Moving to El Paso / further influences on her writing

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Partial Transcript: So, my sister was working at--she was working on her master's at the time in, in El Paso.

Segment Synopsis: Carr tells the story of joining her sister in El Paso, getting a job at the university there teaching undergraduate English, and the influences on her writing of the academic hierarchy and chauvinism she experienced. She then goes on to talk about how she met her second husband, to whom she is still married.

Keywords: Education; El Paso (Tex.); Literature

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.; Writing

00:54:36 - Time in Tulsa / development of philosophy of writing

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Partial Transcript: And then he went to University of Tulsa and got his doctorate.

Segment Synopsis: Carr briefly mentions her two years in Tulsa with her husband and how she spent her time working a part-time job and writing--by this point, she "knew what to write." From here, Carr and Beattie go on to discuss Carr's philosophy of writing--who she thinks you can write from first person point of view and why.

Keywords: Education; Kentucky writers; Literature; University of Tulsa

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Literature.; Writing

01:09:58 - Exceptions to her ideas on gender / her emphasis on truth

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Partial Transcript: Um, do you think this theory would mean that your sexuality defines you more than anything else?

Segment Synopsis: Beattie asks about exceptions to her ideas, such as a man who acts in a more stereotypically feminine way or vice versa, to which Carr declares those reactions to be neither male nor female but human, and yet she continues to see some fundamental difference. From there, they discuss how mutual understanding must come from the truth.

Keywords: Education; Gender; Sexism

Subjects: Education.; Gender.; Literature.; Sexism.

01:18:07 - Her own publishing career

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Partial Transcript: Um, will you talk about your publishing career?

Segment Synopsis: Carr talks about her own, highly-varied publishing career, all the sorts of things she's published, the novels, and the extent to which she was pursued by publishing companies. Beattie then talks about her own perceptions of Carr's writing.

Keywords: Education; Kentucky writers; Literature

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.; Writing

01:25:06 - Further small-press publishing / writing vs. publishing

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Partial Transcript: Um, what happened after the Iowa?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her further publishing with small-presses, the struggles of writing short stories, and the differences between what one writes and what is published. Beattie then inquires about her reviews, and Carr explains how publishing companies love her work but won't publish it.

Keywords: Education; Literature

Subjects: Authors and publishers.; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.; Publishers and publishing.; Writing

01:29:59 - What kind of writer she is / what she focuses on in her work

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Partial Transcript: Um, so you don't feel that you have to slot yourself as--with--as a writer of a particular genre?

Segment Synopsis: Beattie and Carr discuss what kind of writer Carr is, to which Carr declares she's definitely a short story writer, very likely not a novelist, and most definitely not a poet. Beattie then inquires what Carr aims for in her work, tying back into her idea of who can write from what perspectives.

Keywords: Education; Literature; Poetry

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.; Poetry.; Writing

01:36:01 - Others' purposes in writing / nature of creativity

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Partial Transcript: Uh, talking about where writing comes from, and talking about, well...

Segment Synopsis: Beattie asks about Carr's thoughts on people of a very specific sort, who are good writers but not "good people," of which they both declare most of them are male. From there, they go on to discuss the nature of creativity and the joy Carr takes in teaching creative writing.

Keywords: Alcoholism; Education; Literature

Subjects: Alcoholism.; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.

01:40:21 - Effect of mortality on creativity / need to write / time in Arkansas

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Partial Transcript: Um, and Leon Driskell in Louisville thinks that it's a choice all humans make to respond creatively to just the, the, the trauma of our own mortality, I guess.

Segment Synopsis: Carr and Beattie discuss the impact of the presence of mortality on creativity and how she's always been aware of that. Beattie then asks if she experiences a need to write and Carr tells a story of living on a farm in Arkansas with her husband, writing, because she thought she was going to die.

Keywords: Creativity; Education; Literature

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Creativity.; Education.; Literature.; Writing

01:44:29 - Going back into teaching at Western Kentucky University / published work since

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Partial Transcript: Um, and, what did you do--you said you went back to--into teaching when your daughter--

Segment Synopsis: Carr talks about moving to teach at Western Kentucky University, teaching drama, and how and why she doesn't write drama. They then discuss Carr's published work since moving to Bowling Green.

Keywords: Education; Kentucky; Kentucky writers; Literature; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Kentucky.; Literature.; Western Kentucky University.

01:52:30 - Writing habits

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Partial Transcript: What are your writing habits?

Segment Synopsis: Carr explains her writing habits when she's at her farm, how she eats one big meal a day, breakfast, and nothing else, how she writes five pages a day, whether or not that includes a grocery list or a letter to someone. She also talks about the extent of her collaboration with her husband.

Keywords: Kentucky; Kentucky writers; Literature; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: Berry, Wendell, 1934-; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Kentucky.; Literature.; Western Kentucky University.

01:58:32 - Current and future work / on the New Yorker / Kentucky writers she admires

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Partial Transcript: Um, what about current and future work?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her current projects, which include a collection of short stories from the dramatic point of view, and how she continues to write the sort of thing she wants to write. From there, both of them critique New Yorker writers and discuss Kentucky writers she reads and admires.

Keywords: Education; Kentucky; Kentucky writers; Literature

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Kentucky--In literature.; Kentucky.

02:07:14 - Visiting Ireland / political involvement / writer's responsibility

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Partial Transcript: Um, have you gone to Ireland?

Segment Synopsis: Carr discusses her love for Ireland, but how she couldn't move overseas, and thinks that with the new Clinton administration the state of the country may improve anyway. This leads to Beattie asking about Carr's thoughts on a writer's responsibility.

Keywords: Education; Kentucky writers; Literature; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: Carr, Pat M., 1932-; Education.; Literature.