Category: Memoir

Slanting

by Heather Browne

I was eight before I knew she was crazy. Until then, I thought maybe it was me. Maybe I was confused or maybe not all that bright, not brilliant like her. I was eight before I understood that talking to trees, dogs, the coat hanging in her closet, dancing with imaginary fairies that only she could see, was something other than spectacularly magical. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes between creativity, genius, and mere insanity, especially when you are too young to even know how to slant your pen.

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Book Review: Notes on a Silencing

By Linda Romano

Lacy Crawford’s memoir Notes on a Silencing speaks to the ways gender, privilege, and power silenced Crawford twenty-five years ago. When Crawford was fifteen years old, she was lured to a boys’ dormitory one night, pulled from beneath the night shadows, and sexually assaulted.

Crawford’s story is a familiar one. When psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford disrupted her life in the summer of 2018 to testify against Brett Kavanaugh, a nominee for the United States Supreme Court, she was harassed and forced to relocate from her Palo Alto home. Thirty years earlier at a high school party, she alleged, Kavanaugh had assaulted her and put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. Ford and Kavanaugh were students at elite prep schools in Maryland: Ford attended Holton-Arms, a private all-girls school, and Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory, a Jesuit high school for boys, where alcohol and deviant sexual behavior were a common cocktail.

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Book Review: Stray

by Jackie DesForges

On the one hand, Stephanie Danler lives in the “Writer House” of our dreams: a small cottage hidden away in Laurel Canyon, with a yard for dinner parties and a mythic history that may or may not involve Fleetwood Mac. Hanging in the kitchen are her mother’s copper E. Dehillerin pots from France. She’s surrounded on all sides by the kinds of neighbors you’d expect to find in Los Angeles: rich or artsy, or both, who throw the kinds of parties that result in pool floats drifting down into Danler’s yard. I don’t know if Danler actually still lives in this house at the moment, but it’s where we find her in the opening pages of her new memoir, Stray.

On the other hand, the house is falling down. Every time it rains, there’s the potential for a landslide, and we’re not talking about the Fleetwood Mac variety. The floors are crooked, there aren’t any screens on the windows to keep out the bugs.

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