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Rachel Cusk: 'If you want people to like you, don't write'
That style – glitteringly precise, vigilant and interrogative – has underwritten all of Cusk’s experiments with form. Halfway through Transit, Faye meets a man who describes a disillusioning trip to Europe, in which “he had found not the intact civilisation that he had imagined, but instead a ragged collection of confused people adrift in an unfamiliar place”.

You’d go mad if you thought about things in terms of prizes
This is the place where much of her fiction resides, her characters engaged in an endless, disillusioning struggle to understand themselves. “When people live, they get broken down by experience,” says Cusk. “I don’t mean that in a depressive way; I mean, you get less rigid. And you also realise that certain things are the products of beliefs or fantasies or fixed ideas that somehow you’ve always had but you’re not sure where they came from.”
traveller  charater  memoir 
15 days ago by Katchoo
Voices On Addiction: A Conversation With Eva Hagberg Fisher - The Rumpus.net
"Also, I woke up the other day really anxious about the book coming out. I can really buy into my own fear, and then I judge myself for it. I think, So few people get to do this at all. You should be grateful. And my highest self is grateful, but my lowest self is a ball of anxiety. So I went and hung out with some other people in recovery and a lot of them talked about fear. And I realized, Oh, I’m just feeling fear. It’s really no different from anyone else’s fear. Early on in recovery, my working belief was that I needed to be ripped apart and reconstituted. And in a way, I was. I mean, that’s what happens. But now, eleven and a half years in, I’m more likely to say to myself, “Hey buddy. You’re doing a great job. Are you afraid? Of course you’re afraid. This is scary.”"

"As much as I write and think and talk about myself, in many ways I’m utterly surprised by myself and my emotional way of being in the world. I don’t actually have that much access to my experience as it happens. I need other people around me to be like, “Hey. It seems like you’re a little sad,” or whatever. Because my self-conception is that I am capable of literally everything, and impervious to anxiety or depression."


" I wanted to use illness as the vehicle for the observations and arguments that I wanted to make about our culture. Ironically, I don’t have any arguments to make about female pain. There are writers already doing that so extraordinarily well. I mean, Maya Dusenbery’s book Doing Harm is the only evidence I will ever need for understanding the cultural and historical way in which women’s bodies have been treated. She does incredible research and just lays out the case with history and passion. Something I learned from her is that medicine and medical treatments have all been tested on men because women’s bodies are seen as too complicated. People will try and test something on a woman and then say “Well, this is too hard. There are too many variables. Let’s just study it on men and then still prescribe it to women.” I don’t have much to add to those kinds of observations. But I think women have suffered a lot and women continue to suffer a lot, and maybe we’re talking about it more, or believing ourselves."
psychology  illness  women  medicine  health  feminism  writing  memoir 
20 days ago by emmacarlson
How to Narrate Your Life Story - The Book of LifeThe Book of Life
We take stock of just how much has gone wrong: how many errors there have been; how many unfulfilled plans and frustrated dreams we’ve had.

with sufficient compassion and insight, we may equally be able to make something different and a great deal more meaningful and redemptive out of the same material.

The difference between despair and hope is just a different way of telling stories from the same set of facts.

Many of us are strikingly harsh narrators of these life stories. We hint to ourselves that we’ve been morons from the beginning. We’ve stuffed up big time. It’s been one disaster after another. That’s how we go about narrating, especially late at night, when our reserves of optimism run dry and the demons return. Yet there is nothing necessary about our self-flagellating methods of narration. There could always be ways of telling very different, far kinder, and more balanced stories from the very same sets of facts. You could give your life story to Dostoevsky, Proust or Jesus and come out with a rather bearable, moving, tender and noble story.

Not all the disasters were wasted anyway. No one gets anywhere important in one go. We can forgive ourselves the horrors of our first drafts.
philosophy  writing  memoir  bookoflife  schooloflife  debotton  biography 
25 days ago by emmacarlson
The tsunami survivor who lost her whole family | World news | The Guardian
"Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, children and parents in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and was maddened with grief. What has saved her is daring to remember – and to write"
disaster  emergency  tsunami  fionashaw  loss  tragedy  memoir 
26 days ago by emmacarlson
Against Catharsis: Writing is Not Therapy | Literary Hub
Our brains recall memory and information with a different wiring than when we verbalize that information. Simply put, the recollection is operating on a different plane than The Story. Once we tell the story, once we weave the threads of the most fascinating details, once we rearrange and shorten and emphasize certain parts, adding our own diction, our personal flourishes, our distinct “patter” as the magician might say; once we bring that story into the room where our grandmother might add I didn’t even know how to swim when we went to the river and our mother might reenact the exact way she held you over the water, we are creating a new memory altogether.
writing  memoir 
29 days ago by gwijthoff
Kathryn Schulz, "My Father’s Stack of Books"
"The difficulty is that anything that is perfectly ordered is always threatening to become imperfect and disorderly—especially books in a household of readers. You are forever acquiring new ones and going back to revisit the old, spotting some novel you’ve always intended to read and pulling it from its designated location, discovering never-categorized books in the office or the back seat or under the bed. You can put some of these strays away, of course, but, collectively, they will always spill out beyond your bookshelves, permanently unresolved, like the remainder in a long-division problem."
KathrynSchulz  NewYorker  books  memoir  collecting  2019Faves 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
A Dying Young Woman Reminds Us How to Live - The New York Times
When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  book-reading-list  memoir 
10 weeks ago by MelissaAgnes

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