My review of Wild (Knopf) by Cheryl Strayed is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. This is a fantastic memoir, one that takes out into the wilderness, so that we can hear the song and pain that emanates from her broken heart. A mother that dies too soon, a life that is falling apart, and one hell of a long trail to hike. The old Boy Scout in me loved the outdoors, and the poet that lives in a little chamber of my chest sat with her observations and listened to them hum.
I don’t read a lot of memoirs. But so far this year I’ve read two, and both have blown me away. There was You Don’t Look Like Any I Know, the book about Heather Sellers, and her inability to remember faces and now there is The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books) by Lidia Yuknavitch. What do they have in common? They are about two brave women, fearless really, who are downright inspirational, fighting their way through abuse and difficult childhoods to emerge as powerful, generous, gifted authors with a lot to say. And two of the nicest people I’ve ever met or talked to, as well. Head on over to The Nervous Breakdown for the full review, but I’ll say this much: it’s one of the funniest, heart breaking, erotic, and honest books I’ve ever read. Watch out for that opening paragraph, you better be sitting down.
My review of You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know (Riverhead Books), the touching, courageous, heartbreaking memoir by Heather Sellers, is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. It’s the story of a woman who has face blindness. She can’t remember anyone’s face. Heather came down to Murray State where I’m getting my MFA to speak, and she was so funny, a great teacher, smart, beautiful, just a really giving person. I had no idea she had all of this going on. Really endearing, her story. Head on over for the full review and excerpts.