IT WOULD BE HARD to estimate the percentage of students who enter my classes wanting to write grief memior. Half, maybe? Seventy-five percent, perhaps? I’ve never counted, but I know the numbers are high. We talk about it a lot, and so I am always on the lookout for a good piece of writing on the topic. Here’s one.
Published recently in the Wall Street Journal, this little essay by Emily Rapp dives right in by asking how to write about grief “without lapsing into melodrama? The author of the remarkable new memoir The Still Point of the Turning World, Rapp asks and then answers her own question in that little WSJ essay. She does a superlative job of answering the question in the book, as well, taking on the supremely difficult issue of the loss of a child in a book about grief. You read that right: The book is about grief, the illustration being the loss of her child to Tay-Sachs disease.
Still wrestling with that “what is this about?” question I ask you constantly to wrestle with? Read this post on that, or this recent New York Times theater review that does a lovely job of letting the playwright tell us about his own discovery of what his work is about.