Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Not the New Me -- Wendy McClure

I read this a long while back--when it first came out. I raced through it, and liked it so much, though I had some questions about the distance of the narrator, which seemed at odds with the kind of book it was. Aren't memoirs supposed to be confessional, I thought?

This time, I read it for the elastic waist book club, and was able to read it more slowly, and I saw the same distance issues, but on second reading, realized what she was doing--really, the book uses that distance deliberately, the disconnect between who she was and who she thought she wanted to be (the new me) and how things don't turn out the way you hope they will, and what you're supposed to actually do about that. Reading it again also let me appreciate the language, which was gorgeous, the metaphors, which were brilliant, and the comedy, which was comical. It is a very funny book, but it's also remarkably touching, thoughtful, penetrating and such a good read. I'm glad I read it a second time.


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