Sunday, March 11, 2018

Four top inspirational memoirs

Tara Westover's new book is Educated: A Memoir. One of four memoirs that moved her as a reader, then as a writer, as shared at the Waterstones blog:
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Didion’s husband had a heart attack during dinner; he did not survive. Didion chronicles the year after his death, and her own feelings about it, in what has been described as a manual for grief for the agnostic. If believers have the Bible, and the warm comfort of belief in an afterlife, non-believers have Joan Didion, and her thoughtful reckoning with the senselessness of death and the insanity of grief. She writes: “Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.…We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.”
Read about another entry on the list.

The Year of Magical Thinking is among Mark Whitaker's six favorite memoirs, Adam Haslett's five best deathless accounts of mourning, Douglas Kennedy's top ten books about grief, and Norris Church Mailer's five best memoirs. It is a book that made a difference to Samantha Bee.

--Marshal Zeringue