Dear Ariel and David, I was so saddened to hear of your mother’s death. I knew Zane for many, many years, both as a friend and as a fellow group member of the notorious Dr. Kaplan, with whom we both were in therapy. I think it was in the group that I first met Zane, though I also knew your dad, and that was through mutual friends like Hugh and Marilyn, and Paul and Linda Gottlieb…oh well, it’s enough to say that our lives were intertwined personally and socially. To all of us Zane was “quirky”, in the best possible sense—creative, independent, funny in an understated way, an original thinker, slightly off the norm in a way we emulated but couldn’t match because Zane was…Zane. And her writing! I was one of the friends she sent her manuscripts to, for my opinion. Unlike many writers, she took criticism well. I have half a shelf devoted to her books and poetry. Basically, she was always writing—writing was so important to her sense of self. She had a way of looking at something, and expressing in words what it meant to her, that was totally her own. After Norman died, I made trips to Northampton to visit, and Zane came to NYC to visit—seeing Marilyn and me and other friends. It was a time to catch up on all that had happened in the intervening months. In the last years, those visits occurred less frequently, and then ceased altogether. We would talk on the phone, but that ceased as well. So I’ve been out of touch with Zane for some time. When Marilyn called to say your mom had died, I was utterly taken by surprise--shocked really. I'm so glad to hear that she had a nice last day on this earth. I hope you are both ok and I'm glad you have each other to help bear this sadness.
I feel so fortunate that Zane was part of my life, as a special friend and wonderful traveling companion, for over 40 years. I learned from her insights and brilliance. I valued her honesty. We laughed and laughed together, at ourselves as much as anything else. I always respected Zane’s independence and self-sufficiency, traits that allowed her a full and meaningful life in spite of the cards dealt to her. I remember and smile at one instance where this independence was going full-force, and where we laughed in retrospect. In China, when her vision was compromised by a mix of cataracts and bad glasses, she insisted on reading the smallish English words under the large road signs for directions to places. I was allowed to speak after she figured it out on her own. The problem was, that we had to cross busy streets in order to get as close as possible for her to read the sign, and then sometimes, we went back across the street to continue our walk. It was a case of the blind leading the sighted. After Zane had finished a draft of The Inner Sea, I was privileged to accompany her for on-site research to ruins and museums in Spain and Sicily. She knew everything about this time period. We stood on a hill overlooking the ancient city. She would describe in detail what her characters would be doing and along which streets they would traverse as they worked, shopped, celebrated, and worshipped. She brought these ruins to life, as she did for life in other Mediterranean countries in The Inner Sea. Zane, I will miss you greatly.
Zane was a much loved and much respected member of Northampton Neighbors and such an important contributor to our Speakers Series Committee. We shared stories about her at our last meeting and want to share our deep appreciation for her. The Speakers Committee met at her house pre-COVID and delighted in her comments. She introduced a speaker and captivated the audience. Like most of us, she was not a big fan of zoom meetings, but when we had to meet that way, she participated in her usual charming way. Whatever the setting, Zane was always so witty, smart, insightful, and supportive. We so miss her.
I knew "Zane" as the author of "Mainstay: For The Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill", and as a member of the Well Spouse Association, which she and other well spouses founded via that book of Maggie's. She and I were fellow well-spouses, and also fellow-writers; my own well spouse memoirs, "Dirty Details" and "Still the End", came out years/decades after "Mainstay", and i'm proud to be, at least in part, in such good company. I was shocked to hear of her death, and also glad to read her daughter Ariel's entry about how "Zane" had a good last day. (But it sounds as though she didn't know it was her last day...) Zane and I knew, through our well spouse experiences and life experiences in general, how strange and sad living can be. And we also knew the joys. I wish her family and friends well.
David and Ariel, Cynthia and I were so sorry to hear of Zane's passing. She was one of the first to welcome us to the Pioneer Valley when we moved in 2011, and she was wonderfully kind to me when I began to try to write. I remember meeting Zane and you, Ariel, at one of the Camp's summer family picnics in Watertown, and thinking how interesting these two people were. Zane was a wonderful spirit, talented writer, and sensitive and kind person to know. She will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Bob and Cynthia Barker
I am very grateful that the last time I saw Zane, apps. 2 months ago, we laughed alot. Her quick wit never left her; she did not miss a beat regarding a memory from 30+ years ago, or the way I was cutting her food for her the way she wanted me to do it at dinner that day. We spoke of Mojaca, Spain where we had both been in residence at different times, and of old friends who are no longer here. We were not supposed to hug good by because of covid, but it could not be helped. Today I am so glad for that hug.
i want everyone to know that my mom had a really good last day. she walked into town, did errands, and treated herself to chocolate covered apricots. she told me about the apricots with that “let me tell you about my guilty pleasure” tone in her voice. she felt happy. i’m so thankful for that.
I feel lucky to have crossed paths with Zane through the writing community. Rarely have I met a more humble writer who had such massive accolades. We read together at Forbes (with a few others) and Zane brought down the house with her unexpected sense of humor about on-line dating. And now at this late date, I learn that Zane and I grew up in the same town, Southbury CT, although a generation apart. Thank you for being with us, Zane. Thank you for your persistence in writing. Thank you.
It was an honor to know Zane and to be able to share some wonderful holidays with her and her family. I will miss the twinkle in her eyes, her sense of humor, and spending time with her and her family in her beautiful home.