Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reading My Father, by Alexandra Styron

One of the history teachers at my kids' high school gives off such a calm and friendly vibe that within minutes of first meeting him, I could tell my kids would be in good hands in his class. I often have the same experience when I meet a new book. My hands flip the cover open, and from the page one, chapter one, I get that vibe. Well-crafted prose shows that the author is deft and trustworthy and that what's to come will be a pleasure.

It didn't take me long to realize that Alexandra Styron's one of these authors.

Ms. Styron, the youngest daughter of Pulitzer Prize winner William Styron (author of "Darkness Visible" and "Sophie's Choice") has penned a daughter's memoir, one that succeeds on many levels. It tells us her story, of growing up in the most privileged pockets of the East Coast. It also takes us deep into the glittery life of her famous and mercurial father, one of the Big Shouldered Authors of the '70s, a contemporary and friend of Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller. And most compellingly, Styron takes us deep into her volatile yet loving relationship with her dad.

Despite being a tad turned off when Ms. Styron recounted stories of the brushes she had as a younger adult with the rich and famous -- a minor complaint I'm more than willing to overlook -- Styron shows us the way memoir should be done, with brazen honesty and unwavering generosity.

If you're a memoir lover, you'll love "Reading My Father." Enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment