Tears On My Pillow (and Pages)

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:

tears-on-my-pillowYes, 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!

19 responses to “Tears On My Pillow (and Pages)

  1. I love these kinds of books too!

  2. I’ll look out for the review, for sure!

  3. I love Jen Lancaster – she is awesome!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on Pretty in Plaid and now reading about your reaction to the book, I’m even more excited 🙂

  4. WOW — great teaser!!

  5. I need a good “laugh so hard you cry ” book. Can’t wait for the review. 🙂

  6. The only time there are tears on pages in my books is when I read ripping good stories. Ha-ha.

    Oh wait. I was planning on reciproboycotting your blog.

    Oh wait-wait. That would be CurlyWurlyGurly, your other blog. You may not even be the same person when you’re writing this one, but I think that’s more of a philosophical question than a pragmatic one.

    (You can tell I’m stressed when I start writing this way, even more convoluted and inane than usual. Which reminds me, I’m going to be off-line for the but-dimly foreseeable future, not sure how long. Will miss the interwebs and friends and bluddies.)

  7. I’m SO jealous that you’re reading this already!! I can’t wait to read more of her this year!

  8. Can’t wait for the review now, and for the book to be available to the lowly masses.

    Btw, have you ever read Alexandra Fuller’s memoir – Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight – awesome.

  9. I read The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt kid by Bill Bryson too. I thought most of it was good. My first real experience with this genre was Trepassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock which was really funny in parts. 🙂

  10. I LOVE MEMOIRS … and funny ones are the best of all. I’ve been hearing how great Jen Lancaster is from tons of people so I MUST have one of her books, I think. If you laugh until you cry, that does it for me.

  11. I LOVE when books make me laugh that much.

  12. I hold my hands up and admit I am not a great non fiction reader. I enjoy reading the odd memoirs and maybe some travel books. I have recently purchased my first Bill Bryson book as I intend to join in with the Non Fiction Five challenge. You have definitely caught my interest with Jen Lancaster now, so I shall definitely add it to my list. I honestly love books that make me laugh like that. Hubby usually thinks I am heading for an asthma attack though!

  13. Okay — I’m going to have to break down and get me some Jen Lancaster. I’ve had Such A Pretty Fat in my hands several times but have yet to actually break down and purchase it… but I definitely love books that reduce me to body-shaking laughter! So far, the only author able to accomplish such a feat has been Laurie Notaro. Definitely read her if you haven’t yet! 🙂

  14. I’m responding to your comment on my blog here to ensure that you can’t pretend you never saw it:

    OMG, please come to karaoke the next time we go out! How much would it take to convince you to come into the city on a Friday or Saturday night?

  15. OK, Lencaster is now on my wishlist. Thanks!

  16. Definitely an essay and memoir lover here too, though I have nothing good to say about Frey and his ilk. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Jen Lancaster!

    Pop by my blog; I’ve just given you an award!

  17. Oooh Curly babe – please send my way when you’re finished. Someone commented on my blog about Jen Lancaster and I’ve yet to read anything by her.

  18. I actually enjoyed A Million Little Pieces even if it wasn’t true. I have yet to read anything by these two authors but they are both on my TBR list. You’ve convinced me that I need to give them a try now rather than later 🙂

  19. Oh my gosh, that is priceless. I can’t wait to get to page 292 now to find out what is so funny! I will not look ahead tho’. 😉 Jen must be enjoyed in order.

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