Tomek's Reviews > Strength in What Remains

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

I suppose there are a decent number of memoirs about tragedies. Without looking at what it says about us, more importantly, I want to say this one stands out as a unique style of memoir.

It does give the details of Deogratias's life. travels through this in a tasteful flow, moving from america to Burundi, and back and forth. In this way it's more than a chronological recreation from memory of the past, the way you might expect it to be. In a sense, if I'm not being overdramatic, it is a realistic portrayal of the limitations you have to writing memoirs. Especially about something so strong and tragic so to speak, as a memoir involving murder and death.

In terms of the parts about the author, at the end, I appreciated how they broke the fourth wall. It goes along with what I'm saying about this being more than "gather facts about figure. Write what figure said happens. Embellish parts with artistic freedom." You know from the latter 1/4th of the book that the author put a certain level of his self into the book, and acknowledging that makes everything more authentic to me. Yeah, that authentic would be the word that marks how I feel about the memoir. It seems authentic at the very least in its spirit of trying to be authentic.

Anyway, I recommend the book. hopefully my explanations for why were relatively decent.
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