Sunday, March 05, 2006

Book Club Options

I was thinking of adding Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking to our book club readings. The discussion would be totally different from the NYT forum’s current string.

The ladies in our club are older and possibly facing or have faced the death of a spouse. I can predict, without wavering, they will want to know why Didion did not seek solace in religion. (Please, this is not my point of view, but rather I’m gearing up to prepare for certain conversation.) She mentions attending church, both Catholic and Episcopal, so they will assume she is religious. They will question, “Why not turn to the Lord in your hour of need?”

I would also like to add to my certainty; they will think the memoir self-serving and egotistical. Didion relied on no one else for answers, and sought grief release from within. Just like Frey couldn’t allow help from the AA teachings (the Bible) and knew he would beat the addiction using internal fortitude.

I’ll counter with memoirs being the ultimate in self-expression writing, a way of understanding the world through one’s own perceived life.

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