On Meg Tilly, Early Trauma and the Rise of the Fragmented Memoir
January 19, 2022 § 2 Comments
In our Craft Section this month, Sonja Livingston explores the link between trauma and fragmented memoirs, and that unlikeliest of literary pioneers, Agnes of God * :
I have fallen for a thirty-year-old memoir.
That fact that a memoir snagged me isn’t surprising. For all the genre’s pitfalls—the dogged self-reference, unmitigated earnestness and occasional fibbery—when a story is both well-told and true, its power is unparalleled. A good memoir can magnify silenced voices, shed light on overlooked places and connect us beyond the pervasive divisions of this world. That the book was published in 1994 also doesn’t trouble me. What is thirty years in the life of a book? No, the astonishing part is that I was nabbed by a celebrity memoir. Because I prefer how a book is written to what it’s about—and celebrity memoirs tend to be, by definition, more about subject than craft—swooning over one is no small thing.
Read the full essay here:
- Full disclosure: Meg Tilly, the actress, not her character Agnes, wrote the book. But that’s pretty amazing as well.