Sarah Stewart has written a very personal story from her childhood. Her husband, David Small, has illustrated it. This article from Kalamzoo Gazette describes the book and the story behind it.
If you are a fan of Stewart's books you will want to read the whole thing. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux's website has more information about her. Stewart's advice for writers includes:
It is the most personal of the books Stewart has written. Her previous efforts, all illustrated by Small, "The Money Tree" (1991), "The Library" (1995), "The Gardener" (1997) and "The Journey" (2001), were intimate stories about strong and interesting women -- similar to Stewart herself, a woman of ideas and energy...
But "The Friend" is not about similarities. It is the story of Stewart's childhood and her close relationship with Smith, the family housekeeper who was present at her birth and her primary caregiver during her childhood in Corpus Christi.
Sarah Stewart's Rules for Aspiring Writers
1. Study Latin.
2. Read the great poetry written in your native language.
3. Find a quiet place and go there every day.
4. If there's no quiet place where you live, find that place within you for a few minutes each day.
5. Put your ambition into writing, never into making money.