Thanks to the creative writing (and wild imagination) of James Frey (and a few others), the memoir genre has been forever tainted. Despite the scandals, I remain an unflagging and vocal supporter of nonfiction essays and memoirs. Some of my favorite authors exclusively pen nonfiction–Bill Bryson and Jen Lancaster to name just two.
Why do I love these authors so much? Their writing can, in a single paragraph (or sentence), reduce me to silent, body-shaking laughter. Or obnoxious, snorting laughter. Or wheezing, cartoonish, Muttley laughter. Or I-can’t-catch-my-breath AND I’m crying laughter.
Last night, I was cuddled up in bed whipping through Jen Lancaster’s new book, Pretty in Plaid, which is due out May 4th–so be on the lookout for my review! At one point, page 292 to be precise, her writing pushed me over the precipice. I was ‘silent-laughing’ to the point that I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband grabbed the phone to dial 9-1-1 because he thought I was having a seizure–that’s how hard I was shaking and crying with laughter.
In case you don’t believe me, after I calmed down (20 minutes later), I snapped a picture with my phone (thus explaining the fabulous quality of the picture!). I submit Exhibit A. as proof to why YOU should be reading nonfiction:
Yes, friends, that’s an actual tear. And it was not alone. There was an entire parade of them streaming down my cheeks. So, if you have given up on the nonfiction genre, I beseech you to reconsider. Just look at the hilarity you’re missing!