This is the third and final episode of Pulitzer Prize Winner and former New York Times columnist Rick Bragg'search for understanding his roots. Beginning with ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN' followed by EVA's MAN, this biography reflects the author's attempt to understand the relationship between a father and his son: how to be a father.
The impetus for this research (and research it is) into his father is that Rick Bragg has married "the woman" who has "the boy," a 10-year old child and he does not have the slightest idea how to father this child because we know from the previous books that Rick Bragg was never,himself, fathered. He travels to rural Southern Appalachia and essentially obtains an oral history of the man who was never there, yet had enduring influence on his life.
The second part of the story, woven between the tales of his father, is the growing love and respect that Bragg and his stepson come to have for each other as they mature and settle into their parent/child relationship and he realizes that they can make their own history-a better history. Narrative and dialogue is lush and tender. I listened to this via audiobook, read by the author. His soft southern accent sounded spot-on in the telling of this tale. Very enjoyable.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Very highly recommend (the 'disgraced' memoirist) James Frey's new fiction, BRIGHT SHINY MORNING. It is a "must read" for anyone who has ever lived in LA, spent any amount of time there, or dreamed the LA dream. Very interesting: a compelling and fast read. As a result of the media frenzy surrounding his MILLION LITTLE PIECES, Frey seems to be carefully experimenting in creating a new fiction genre...almost non-fiction, but with a story line winding throughout that unequivocally places it into the novel (no pun intended) category.