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#1040: Willa Cather to James Southall Wilson, March 3, 1931

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My dear Mr. Wilson1:

I have been in Canada3 for some time and no mail was forwarded to me during my absence.

I am leaving New York2 in a few days for Pasadena4, where I now spend much of my time. My mother5 has been an invalid in a sanitarium6 there for three years. She is completely paralyzed on one side, and her state of helplessness has compelled me to drop all outside interests. With much regret, I feel that I must decline your very kind invitation to become one of the Committee of Southern Authors.

You were kind enough to say that the use of my name on the Committee would not entail any duties. But unfortunately the use of one's name on any committee means many invitations from other societies and committees, and a great many letters from people who seem to write to one merely because seeing one's name reminds them of one's existence. However good your intentions might be, you could not prevent this. For the present, while my mother is in this condition, I want to eliminate in so far as possible all intrusions from the outside, and even the use of my name on your Committee would result in intrusions of this kind. I know by experience that when one's name is printed on a committee list, many unforeseen complications may ensue, and for the next year or so I would like to be forgotten completely.

Very sincerely yours, Willa Cather