Christopher Castellani's Reviews > The Body Papers: A Memoir
The Body Papers: A Memoir
Christopher Castellani's review
Oct 23, 2018
There is so much to admire in this brave and fierce and deeply intimate memoir, most notably the author's unsentimental and plainspoken approach to her material. There are no fireworks of language here, no false flourishes designed to obscure or somehow extract beauty from the events she recounts with unflinching clarity. Talusan simply demands that the reader pay attention: to make the rich and often devastating connections among the events of her life: some harrowing, some tender, all of them delivered with honesty and forthrightness. The memoir is told in thematic sequences in which the author and the family come continually to light, but only in flashes; these flashes get brighter as we read, and by the end we see everyone in their full humanity, and we fully comprehend the depths of both despair and love at their core. As a child of immigrants, I found much to relate to in the family dynamics -- alternately laughing and shuddering with recognition.
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