Monday, April 12, 2010

Hurry Down Sunshine

Finished reading Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg.  This stark and powerful book covers the time just before Greenberg's then-teenaged daughter had a mental breakdown through the time she resurfaced.  He immerses you into that summer in New York, his family interactions, his awkwardness and helpless agony.

I decided to read this book because I'm trying to hash through some family-related stuff in my writing, and I wanted to see a writer dealing with the sudden mental illness of a family member.  I read some reviews, and they all seemed to indicate that if I was going to read one memoir about mental illness and family, this was a good choice.

Best technique moment:  Greenberg's sitting in this diner, and the TV is showing the current presidential campaign clips, and the way he describes what he's feeling and thinking about the presidential candidates says so impossibly much about him in his specific situation that I am in awe.  What an incredible way to show.

Another impressive technique: no table of contents (in the hardcover edition).  You don't know how many chapters there are or how long they are.  You just have to read until you hit the end of a section or run out of time.  When will this end, you wonder as blow after blow happens on page after page after page.  Genius.

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