Jim Grimsley's Reviews > Apple: Skin to the Core

Apple by Eric Gansworth
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To call this book heartbreaking is in some ways to miss the point of it, for this is the story of a family that endured in spite of utter poverty and misery of a kind that is unjust and inexcusable. Eric Gansworth grew up as an enrolled member of the Onondaga people who grew up in the Tuscarora Nation in New York, an outsider who did not quite fit even among the other people of his country. The memoir is unlike other memoirs I have read, written in a verse that is free and approachable, a beautiful achievement of the language in which it is the moment that is distilled more so than the writing, which breathes with freedom and rings with clarity. What I mean by this is that the poetry in which the story is told is readable quickly, though it has its depths, and the result is something between a standard narrative of sentences and the beauty of rhythmic verse. He writes narrative verse with grace and acuity. The story itself is achingly clear, beginning in his early years and marching forward in beautiful moments to his adulthood. He tells the story of the birth of the Gansworth name, the struggle to keep the old family house from collapsing, the fight for warmth and food. The promise and loss of an electric blanket. The need to be Batman. There are so many deeply felt episodes in this book, and each of them holds a fine, clear light. I have rarely read anything so moving, and have never a read a book like this one, which is singular in form and execution. He is a remarkable writer and this is one of the best books I've read in a while.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 31, 2020 – Shelved

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