Monday, August 22, 2005

Chic Lit

I've just read a couple of books recently in the recovery memoir vein, which seems to be all the rage these days. Namely, Dry by Augusten Burroughs and A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Both are intensely readable, though I suspect the latter suffers from some intense exaggeration. You almost hope so: no human being deserves to suffer capping two teeth and receiving two root canals without anaesthetic, even if they are in recovery and aren't allowed any sort of drugs. What makes Frey's book especially so gripping, whether he stretches the truth or not, is his sheer determination. That part must be true or he wouldn't be here to tell us about it.

I also just finished the wonderful graphic novel Persepolos by Marjane Satrapi, which details that writer's childhood in Iran. (For some reason, I'm drawn to Iran. I watch every Iranian movie I can get my hands on,and I've enjoyed everyone. Abbas Kiarostami would have to be one of my most favorite directors.) It's is by turns touching, enlightening and horrifying. The illustrations are simple, yet refined, often elegant. A graphic novel classic. That's three memoirs in a row. Now, I've just started The Dew Breaker by Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat. I'm headed to Puerto Rico for my vacation next week and hope to lots of reading this time, and less running around like a madman, as is usually my modus operandi.

Update 01/09/06: Yep, turns out Frey's pretty much a fraud. More thoughts here and over at Saheli's place.

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