About The Book
In this provocative collection of memoirs, eight acclaimed writers go about the risky business of telling their own secrets. Collectively, they provide what amounts to a psychic map of American life, from the streets of New York’s East Village–where Peter Trachtenberg’s affair with a fragile ex-prostitute becomes entwined with scenes from an imaginary film noir, to the trailer parks of southern California–where, in a last-ditch bid for affection, Terminator dresses in drag and seduces his abusive mother’s boyfriend. in between, Jane Creighton has an affair with her gentle, sickly brother; Lois Gould recalls Businessman–the flamboyant gentleman who had a string of red-haired mistresses and who, incidentally, was her father; Philip Lopate views his pathologically schlumpy dad in a nursing home; Laurie Stone searches for the connections between her creativity and her addiction to sex; Jerry Stahl remembers his rock-bottom days doing crack in Los Angeles; and Catherine Texier, an accomplished adult, meets her father for the first time in the south of France.
In her introduction, award-winning critic Laurie Stone gives the genre an incisive once-over and explores the question: Why is memoir so dominant on the literary scene? These stories–filled with harrowing self-knowledge, as antic as they are haunting–go a long way toward answering that question.
Brother, by Jane Creighton
Pipe to the Head, by Jerry Stahl
My Father’s Picture, by Catherine Texier
Businessman, by Lois Gould
Recalled to Life, by Laurie Stone
The Story of My Father, by Phillip Lopate
I Kiss Her Goodbye, Peter Trachtenberg
Baby Doll, by Terminator
‘stone’s collection of journeys down dark passages illuminates by means of sheer narrative brilliance.” –The Washington Post Book World
‘small gems of the form . . . Engaging, often powerful writing is [this anthology’s] common denominator. . . . A substantial collection.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Especially haunting is the input of Terminator. . . . His precocious insights illustrate why Close to the Bone–and memoirs in general–can be so affecting: The traumas of life, turned like clay in the hands of a skillful artisan, can sometimes be sculpted into new forms, illuminating truths previously hidden.” –Willamette Week
“Addresses the memoir in our time and the culture of confession and recovery . . . Reminds us why [Laurie Stone] is one of our most valued critics.” –Kirkus Reviews