Carole Maso knows her students won't remember everything she taught them, but she still hopes at least one lesson sticks:
"It gives you access to a world, which is essential to being alive and to being a human being." said Maso, professor of literary arts at Brown University. "I don't expect them to become great writers - some will be - but you can't hope or impose for those things to happen."
Maso will give a reading Thursday at Alcorn Auditorium as part of the University of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review reading series.
The professor, who has authored several novels, poems and essays, uses rich, beautiful language that evokes an intoxicating sense of surrealism in seemingly ordinary settings.
She wrote her novel, "The Room Lit By Roses," to chronicle the time she was pregnant with her daughter using a journal she kept.
Later, she wrote a book, "Mother and Child," about her relationship with her daughter as a child.
"I had a biblical sound in my ear while I was composing most of it," Maso said.
Sometimes, Maso said, she just has the language and not the story.
When she wasn't writing about motherhood, Maso said she spent time, and still does, working on her book, "Bay of Angels," which she started working on 15 years ago.
"Bay of Angels," was partly inspired by the time Maso spent living in the South of France.
"It is in the parapet of France during World War II," Maso said. "When I was living there, I had a very clear intimation that I had been there during the war."
Maso said she tries to develop a unique sense of language tailored to fit individual stories.
"There needs to be some kind of marriage where there's a wedding of form and content, and so once I start to understand a little bit about what the story is, I can work with language in a way that will enhance that."