Thursday, May 09, 2013

Memoir Three Ways

I'm a big fan of memoir.  Not celebrity tell-alls, biographies of famous people or recountings of great adventures or tragedies--though these have their place.  My heart belongs to those who take their experiences--often common and ordinary--and weave them into something extraordinary, who take moments from their lives--and make them into art.  Here are three examples who currently smite me:
1) On Stage:  Alice Johnson, Bitch Trouble. A one woman show in which Alice details the rise and fall of three friendships during childhood, adolescence and adulthood.  She plays a dozen characters, and she's hilarious and lyrical and profane.  If you live in Los Angeles, you're lucky--you can still go see it, and you should.
2) In pictures on a blog: Hyperbole and a Half.  Allie Brosh illustrates her life-based anecdotes with inimitable cartoons. She's recently had a depression-related hiatus from her blog, but I came home tonight (after Alice's show) to find a post, and was grateful to see it.
3) In poems: Sharon Olds.  Have I mentioned the poetry class I took this past semester?   At first when I saw the assignment to write a paper on a poet, I thought I would have to pick one at random, that no one poet would capture my heart, but several weeks in, I stumbled on Sharon Olds.  Apparently I'm not the only one whose heart has been captured, because a month after my discovery of her (but about thirty years after her first of many publications) her most recent book, Stags Leap, won a Pulitzer Prize.

No comments:

Post a Comment