It is a strange thing to look around and come to the realization you are alone; it is even more strange to comprehend that you don’t mind it being this way. But how did you get here? Did everyone leave you, or was it a slow process of elimination until you were the only one left? Isolation can be comforting, especially for introverts, but is it healthy? At what point does cynicism overrule optimism and force you to accept your isolation? They say that hindsight is 20/20, so let’s take a look back at how this came to be, and what it means to be alone.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Published in 2008
Genre: Creative nonfiction
“My friend Patsy was telling me a story.”
Stories are what elevate much of the human experience, and it is the mark of a masterful storyteller to help their listeners or readers forget their problems and escape into a different world; this is true not only in fiction, but creative nonfiction as well. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris, is a collection of creative nonfiction essays that cover everything from coming out as a gay man in order to avoid an awkward hitchhiking situation to arguing the validity of different unknown artists with his parents as a child. The collected stories make for an entertaining read that gives the reader a look into a perspective different than their own. Continue reading “When You Are Engulfed in Flames – Review”
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Published in 1997
Genre: Nonfiction, memoir
“The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.”
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, is probably one of the most famous works of writing to come out of the 1990s. After being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a professor of sociology decides to use the remaining time he has to spread a message of love and hope. Throughout this process, he is reunited with a former student who helps him as he makes the transition toward his next journey after life. Continue reading “Tuesdays with Morrie – Review”
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Published in 1966 (Originally serialized in four parts in 1965)
Genre: Creative nonfiction, true crime
“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”
If asked, none of the citizens of Holcomb could have imagined even the slight possibility of what would occur on November 15th, 1959. In Cold Blood tells of the grisly murder of the Clutter family by ex-convicts Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. Written by Truman Capote, the book follows the events of the crime all the way through to the conviction and execution of the murderers. Along the way, however, character studies into the minds of the criminals show the mental instability that was present to drive two men to such a gruesome act.