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Podcast Episode Discussions > Episode 115 - Does the world need more memoirs?

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message 1: by Carol (last edited Feb 09, 2011 05:01PM) (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 559 comments Mod
All I could think of when hearing the title of this episode's topic is..

What the world needs

I, too, read this article about memoirs and the question of who gets to write them. Well, I'm not going to be such a harsh judge as Mr. Genzlinger. I think I'll decide what I'm going to read and what is interesting to me. I chose to read Mr. Genzlinger's article but who is he. Should I read his articles or one by my favorie blogger or someone else who thinks he is more of an expert or has better credentials than Neil? Trust is built on what reviews I put stock in, but in the end, I'm the only one who chooses what I read and what I'll buy.

Each of us has a story to tell and if you can find an audience, more power to you.

Now, let's talk a bit about one of my favorite memoirs of recent days.

Cancer Vixen by A True Story Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Who needs to read another story about a woman who finds out she has breast cancer? It's got a hook like Michael mentioned. It's a bit different in that it is a graphic novel.

I originally heard about Cancer Vixen on this very podcast. I decided to read it as Michael talks about graphics so often that I wanted to find one that would appeal to me. Cancer Vixen was the ticket.

Though this book easily could have been written in in normal book format, the graphic format seems a perfect way for Marisa to tell her story as she is a cartoonist for The New Yorker. It's hard to say I loved this book which is an illustrated look at Marisa's battle with breast cancer, but love it I did. From the cover art of a super strong woman kicking cancer in the chops, to her candid portrayal of diagnosis to cure, this book is stunning. Here's a spunky Manhattanite, a proclaimed bachelorette who meets Silvano, the owner of a trendy restaurant with oh, so good food. Marisa can't resist his charms nor his delicious cooking and soon agrees to marry him. On the eve of her wedding, she discovers The Lump. Will Silvano still love her? Will she survive? What about her hair? Can she beat this thing called cancer? Put this one on your list. Cancer Vixen is a triumphant memoir of a woman who will not be a victim.

message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Oh, Carol, this makes me so happy! I love Cancer Vixen, and I agree with every single thing that you wrote. Thanks for taking a chance on it!

message 3: by Carol (last edited Feb 11, 2011 05:36AM) (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 559 comments Mod
I respect your opinion Ann and your recommendations have been on the mark!

message 4: by Callie (new)

Callie (calliekl) | 646 comments I love memoirs, which is something I've discovered recently about myself. My opinion? I think there's an audience for every book, even if it's just one person. No one is forcing the article-writer you mentioned to review these memoirs, aside from his boss. There are so many other books out there, he should be able to find something else to read and write about.

Also, even if two memoirs are very similar, just one came out after the other, and someone reads Memoir Y instead of Memoir X, why does it matter? Why should Memoir X be the more important/relevant/allowed to sit on the shelf, just because someone did it first? That's hardly fair.

This issue with more "unnecessary" books being written through the ease of self-publishing reminds me of the gripe people have about too many blogs on the internet. If people are reading it, than who is anyone to judge the fact that it exists?

message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 559 comments Mod
Good comments. I'm with you!

message 6: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 330 comments He does use the article to make valid points about what constitutes a good memoir.

My own favorites memoirs have been Girl, Interrupted, Prozac Nation, Permanent Midnight, Wasted and Born on a Blue Day. As you can see, for the most part I lean towards specific (flashy) subjects in my memoir reading.

message 7: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 116 comments Carol, I just got Cancer Vixen out from the library after hearing about it from Ann on the podcast! I'm looking forward to reading it even more now!

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 559 comments Mod
Let us both know what your feelings are after reading this. CK

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