Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review: Autobiography of a Face

It's been a quiet weekend--Saturday and Sunday--one spent in bed, surrounded by spent Kleenex. I am beginning to feel like a faucet; I cannot think straight either. So I read and relax and hope energy returns for Monday because Francisco Aragon, a poet on a residency at the Anderson Center, is coming into my ALC class and I don't want any sick days anyway. I know I won't be a champion or win a trophy if I never call in sick this school year, but I want this, I want to be there each day, to make each day meaningful.

One of the books I've recently finished is Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. I've since requested the Ann Patchett book at the library--the one which puts Grealy in a different light, through a different lens.

This was the story of a woman who had cancer at the age of nine, had surgery and chemotherapy, which removed a third of her jaw, and facing reconstructive surgery after reconstructive surgery. It is told in precise prose, without a great deal of sentimentality or "Poor me," but instead looks at the meaning of beauty and the ways in which we regard ourselves in the mirror.

Next: Chelsea Whistle by the author of Valencia, which I read for my Queer Lit course and thoroughly enjoyed the style, bumping up against your conscious. I think this is a good read after the Ani Difranco concert--the sort of riot of words and visceral language pushing up from the page, asking no forgiveness.

I also wanted to add something about the concert: Ani is, of course, a storyteller, and I love that she'll chat with the audience between songs. She's recently become a mother, and she said, "Well, I've always had a 'tude with Christianity, but now... well, I just think it's interesting that they call the Father the creator, which is bullshit."


Anonymous said...

oh Molly, I am so sorry you are battling that cold and I hope it leaves you soon. what a full measure of poetry and music and writing you surround yourself in! wow--


EWH said...

From one teacher to another, take a sick day! You know all that stuff they say about spreading germs and making it worse by going to work when you feel lousy? IT'S TRUE! Don't be a hero :-).