Thursday, August 6, 2015

Family memoirs pierce parents' silence

And as I wrote my first nonfiction portrait of [my mother]—"Growing Up Fashionable," which was published in The New Yorker and is now diffused throughout several passages of this book—I realized why so many writers have turned to the family memoir and seen it as an essential part of their oeuvre: whether we are Colette, Vladimir Nabokov, Maya Angelou, or Harold Nicolson, the process of piercing our parents' silence, of unraveling the webs of deceits that they spun about their true selves, and often ours, is not only a way of bringing our beloved dead back to life: it can also offer us a greater measure of retrospective clarity, of self-knowledge, than any other literary form.
Francine du Plessix Gray, Them: A Memoir of Parents (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 2

No comments:

Post a Comment