Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Great Regulars: Are You My Mother? is animated by the idea

that it is our wounds that make us artists. In the hands of another writer, this might feel schematic, but [Alison] Bechdel is temperamentally averse to the touchy-feely (she has never understood the point of hugs, she writes). In her early career, Bechdel sent her mother an essay she'd written about the fact that her mother never touched her. She asked, "Do you remember this?" The essay was returned covered in red ink, with suggestions to use stronger verbs and fewer adverbs. Helen did not say whether she did or didn't remember this, but allowed that perhaps she marked up the essay so heavily because she was "jealous because you are writing and I am not."

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: A Mother Is a Story With Neither Beginning Nor End


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