Alice Anderson’s Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away nearly undid me.
One thing I’m learning about memoir is that the good ones are supposed to do that. They are so real, they cut like a butcher knife on the throat and chest…
When I got to the passage in Anderson’s book about her then-husband’s most brutal assault, and her sweet small boy toddled onto the page and my consciousness to take that knife away, how could I not see my own son’s face over my ex’s shoulder when ______?
No really, I’m asking. How?
(I’m a little frustrated with myself for being still so vulnerable to these stories that simultaneously and quite literally saved me, continue to save me. I’m working on it.)
I heard Anderson speak on a memoir panel at this year’s AWP conference. I took lots of notes, but what I most remember is what she said about expected narratives: Could she take her story of abuse and “make it a love story?”
Well damn if she didn’t. Continue reading