While still in her twenties, Teresa Miller, living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, literally became one of the luckiest writers in the world. A top New York literary agent randomly picked her historical novel from a slush pile, then sold the manuscript to a major New York publisher. The novel, Remnants of Glory, caught the attention of such luminaries as writing guru John Gardner and acclaimed short story author Alice Munro. But Miller, waging a private battle with depression, developed an eighteen year writer's block that kept her from fulfilling her literary potential--at least as a writer.
Instead, she transformed her own passion for storytelling into an appreciation for the work of other authors, establishing a literature center that, despite Grapes of Wrath stereotypes, attracted many of the world's leading writers to Oklahoma. Miller also became executive host and producer of the public television program, Writing Out Loud. Now entering its tenth season on OETA, Oklahoma's PBS affiliate, the show has featured Miller's interviews with many of the country's leading writers and performers, including Dave Barry, Elmore Leonard, Frank McCourt, Amy Tan, David McCullough, Tony Hillerman, Pat Conroy, Anne Lamott, Isabel Allende, Ken Burns, and Lynn Redgrave.
Based at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, where she also teachers a popular writing class, Miller has recently rediscovered her own voice. Described by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer as a "novelist of superb skills" she has written another novel, Family Correspondence, and has published her "slightly embellished memoir" Means of Transit. The memoir speaks to the long, silent passages many of us have faced in our own lives.
BA (English); M.Ed. (with English emphasis), Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Post graduate studies, English, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Lynn Riggs Award; Pinnacle Award; Tulsa Newsmaker Award; Oustanding Alumnus at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Fourth generation Oklahoman.
Remnants of Glory. New York : Seaview Books, 1981. Family Correspondence :
a Novel. [Tulsa, Okla.] : Hawk Pub., 2001.
Means of Transit: a Slightly Embellished Memoir. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008.
Traveling Lightly in Familiar Territory
I came from a family that tried not to dwell on anything too unsettling. Just recently I realized that predilection in a literal way during an eleven-day power outage that left me at the mercy of a portable generator. As I told a friend, I felt like I was living in an RV that never went anywhere.
Yet this generator, which I regularly topped off with gas, fueled my television, phone, reading light--all those devices that transported me beyond the shadowy corners of my living room. I even assumed the demeanor of a weary tourist, making daily runs to the Shell station and visiting with strangers about how long a TV could run on a gallon of regular.
I've traveled these alternate routes before, flights of fancy as much as despair. And just as with other journeys that bridge great distances, they conjure up their own memories.