Not Fade Away: The Memoirist at Center Stage
My wife and I just got back from the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, where we got to spend time with friends we haven’t seen for quite some time. At dinner last night, stories were abundant and laughs were plentiful. At times, though, we talked about serious matters, and empathy and understanding were widespread. This is what I look for in the people I think of as friends, this willingness to accept me for who I am, this refusal to judge. I want my friends to laugh with me, yes, but I also want them to be willing to be vulnerable and to let me be vulnerable, too. It strikes me that these qualities are what I look for in a good writer of memoir: humor, gravity, compassion, vulnerability, and the attempt to understand without judging.