Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bookshelf: Emma Forrest


I devoured this book, brought it inside of me and opened it slowly like peeling back the petals of a freshly cut tulip. I protected it on the T, cradled it and at the same time proudly displayed what I was reading. And yet, I don't even know what to say. So I will write this review in a letter. Also, I hope you noticed the number of stars I gave it. I actually want to give more, but I can't break my own rules, can I?

Dear Emma,
Thank you. Thank you for stripping yourself and baring all. Literally sharing everything and hiding nothing. I'll admit it made me uncomfortable at times, to read about the scars, or what set off your cutting on that disastrous trip to SF. I found bits of myself in you, in how you turned the retelling of that awful night into a sad bit of comedy for Dr. R. I have done the same. Horrible things don't seem quite so bad when looked at from a distance and painted pastel pink, right?
I am so sorry for what you have gone through and yet without all of it (good and horribly awful) you wouldn't be who you are. And that person is beautiful and a brilliant writer. I envy your ability to seamlessly flow from reality to mania and back without alienating the reader. You brought me in, and while I've never been to the depths of depression or the high of mania, I understood for a brief moment (well, 214 pages) what it's like in your head.
I think that "Your Voice in My Head" is the most beautiful/sad love letter I have ever read (and I have an entire book of compiled love letters). I wish I had known Dr. R simply because of the profound affect he clearly had on so many people. I know, without having known him, that he would be immensely proud of you and this book.
Thank you for writing this book, for putting yourself out there (I can only imagine what GH's crazed fans must email you in response to the book). I'll have you know that as I write this I'm listening to Radiohead's "Nude" which I thought fitting for various reasons (one of which was what you said about GH saying goodbye to you from the beginning, which broke my heart).
I very much look forward to reading more from you.

On an unrelated note, I'm hearing Kathryn Stockett speak tomorrow evening in Brookline. I really don't know what to expect but I'm hoping for at least a hint of southern twang. I really wish Minnie and Aibeleen could somehow materialize on the stage and speak too.

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