A lot of people ask me why I have worked on this film for over 25 years and how come I never quit.
Once I got to know Kay Boyle (in the 1980’s) I realized that here was a remarkable person and I hadn’t met all that many, still haven’t. Kay witnessed and wrote about almost every major event of the 20th Century and lived the life not just of a writer or artist, but also the life of a woman with a family.
She lived the wild life in Paris in the 20’s that so many of us read and dreamed about, and she was an outsider there. She got there later than most, but she stayed longer. She pushed herself and got a lot of writing done. She met the love of her life, and lost him to death within a year, and yet she moved forward. She was touted as the next Hemingway, but fame never happened.
There were setbacks in her life, and in her career, but she always maintained a steady approach forward.
Many times in her life she was challenged by events, threatened by the government and instead of backing down, she chose to fight. She was accused of being a Communist and instead of backing down and going quietly, she fought the government until she (and her husband) were finally exonerated.
When two FBI agents came to her home and tried to take her passport away she threw them out of her house.
Whenever she was faced with an issue that she didn’t agree with, instead of walking away she protested and spoke out. Kay stood her ground and passionately fought for what she believed in. Was she an idealist? Perhaps.
Was she ever wrong? Yes. And she admitted it.
Kay was always willing to help others. At the time of her death even though she had this amazing body of work, and had lived a life many of us can only dream about, she had very little money. That never stopped her from making donations and continuing to help others she felt needed it more.
Kay is an amazing role model, not just for women or artists, but for all of us. She is an example of how to live a full life and have a profound effect on the lives of others without losing your integrity. I don’t want to see this legacy lost.
I am sick and tired of seeing pop stars and athletes touted as role models when most of them have done nothing to help others unless you count appearing on televised benefits.
We live in tough times and one of the things that Kay Boyle taught me was never be afraid to speak your mind. Her son Ian said, “Even if she was frightened, she spoke out anyway.” She stood up for what she believed was correct, no matter the consequence. I think we need more people like Kay who are willing to stand up and speak out to help those who can’t speak for themselves.
Was she perfect? Absolutely not! Did she give it her all? Absolutely!
Is Kay someone who should not be forgotten? Fuck yeah!
There were many times I probably should have walked away from this movie, but I can’t. I have so much invested in this film, both financially and emotionally. I keep seeing Kay in my mind, she was a fighter, and an artist.
The writer Sherwood Anderson once said that at night when he tried to sleep all of these people stood around his bed saying, “Write my story. Write my story.” He literally dreamed about them and that’s why he wrote.
Well for 25+ years Kay has been saying to me, “Tell my story.”
And I am.
And thank you to all of my friends and colleagues who have gotten me this far, I appreciate it more than I can say.
Please make a Tax Deductible Contribution if you can. I understand money is tight, it’s tight for all of us, but even a $5 contribution helps. And if you can’t afford that, then please pass my URL along to your friends and followers and ask them to check out my site, ask them to help.
For more information about Kay click on the Kay Boyle Film tab at the top of the page and check out the different pages.
Please help me complete my film by making a Tax Deductible Donation thru the Athenaeum Films Project @ The Fredericksburg Athenaeum. The Fredericksburg Athenaeum, a 501c(3) non-profit organization is a production partner on the film so all donations are Tax Deductible.