I know that I owe you all a write up on Running the Books — the memoir by Avi Steinberg — but I didn’t want to dwell on old feelings so much and wanted to push forward.
I seem to have made an even bigger hole for myself. My feelings have toppled on top of me since I picked up The Glass Castle. I really enjoy reading the memoir genre, order but I knew when I was only about 5% into this book that it was going to be an emotional strain. I decided then that I needed to add a little humor to my life. I started reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman almost simultaneously. I say almost simultaneously because I started reading Good Omens, ampoule but I haven’t continued as well as I wanted to.
I have been sucked into The Glass Castle. And this book has been dreadful. Yes, tadalafil dreadful. I have spent most of this roller coaster ride dreading the next unimaginable part. When I get past the next horrible part, I see how the writer makes actions and words fall into place to initiate forgiveness from the readers. And I, truthfully, feel mad at myself for even thinking that I can forgive the parents in this story. “Oh, maybe it was just a mistake.” “How could something this horrible ever happen again? Surely it won’t.” And the cycle of dread and forgiveness starts in my soul all over again.
The narrator is not full of hatred as she tells her story. Reading her story, I have a hard time seeing how she is not consumed by anger. Would you look back on a childhood where you were maltreated and not feel any anguish or anger? I wouldn’t. I’m pretty sure that the author feels these feelings, but she doesn’t let it enter into her narrator’s voice while she’s writing.
Can you sense the anger and injustice? Most definitely. The situations speak for themselves, no matter how much the narrative is fructose-coated. You see the author’s brother speaking his piece through the stories in the book. You hear how hurt he is and just how much he lacks trust. But you hear it from his voice, not from the narrator’s.
In my study of the genre called memoir, I’ve learned that it takes great skill to word your story to get the thoughts and actions of injustice across. It takes even more skill and self-control to keep your own feelings about the situations at bay. It’s something that is called for in the genre. You can’t just say, “She did me wrong!”, you need to show how, but leave your anger behind. It’s like writing something funny, but letting the reader find it funny or like writing an exclamatory sentence without the use of the exclamation point. Letting the reader see the injustice without the anger and malice that should go along with it, makes story so much more powerful. The reader won’t view the author as whiny. We don’t pity the author for her situations. We are angry along with her and we find her strong to have survived it. It stirs different and powerful emotions.
If you want to read a well written memoir, I would definitely recommend The Glass Castle. The author has perfected her art.
I hate to say it, but I’ve learned from my life, “sometimes truth is stranger than fiction” and you see a lot of that in memoir.
Megan A.K.A. “Booksnob”