Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Puny New Year's Tears

Like you, I spend a lot of time reading facebook instead of Flaubert, but I got a powerful and embarrassing reminder of the power of storytelling over the Christmas holiday.

There I was on New Year's Day, nearly drowning in my own tears as I finished the last 30 pages of Miriam Toews' amazing novel, All My Puny Sorrows.

It's a comedy. About suicide. But really, it's about siblings and family and unshakable love and the ties that bind us together. It's brilliant, and swept me up with the power of its writing.

So powerful, I forgot I was not alone as I sniffled and snorted and tried not to sob out loud. I was at a cottage with nine other people, fire roaring, board games being played and hangovers being recovered from, and yet I was totally alone with the characters Toews created on the page, and I was bawling my face off at her portrayal of their grief.

That's the power of books: whether you read them on screen or on paper, there's a minute after you close a particularly powerful story, when you have to take a minute to adjust back to the 'real' world, knowing you're not really the same person you were when you started.

I am usually a voracious reader, but got away from it over the last year or so, caught up in other things, but my new year's resolution is to find more great stories and curl up with a good book most of this winter. However, I feel like I should maybe keep my ugly-cry face away from the public.

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