January 18, 2010


One of the books I brought here to jump-start my nonfiction writing is Sweet Invisible Body: Reflections on a Life with Diabetes, by Lisa Roney. You can get a sense of the book's scope and tone from this interview with the author.  On page 103 I found a handwritten post-it note, in blue felt-tip ink, that reads as follows:


Dear Margie,

I'm sending these books to you. Something to read & I hope it will interest you. Hang in there. I experienced same before my mom died.


I was initially interested in this book because Roney is doing with diabetes what I hope to do with the food allergy book: write accessible narrative about a subject that has only been addressed in either medical guides or recipe books. What I like about the book is it's close attention to detail, and the way it uses thematic rather than chronological hubs. That said, I'd like for my book to feel a bit less "memoir"-like than this, a bit more grounded in factual research outside the self. 

But this post-it hit me hard, because it captures a glimpse of my target audience: the person who wants to read something that brushes up against her life, but ultimately lifts her beyond her own painful circumstance. Not the English major or the critic so much as the daughter bearing witness for her mother, or the mother worried for her newly-diagnosed daughter. The person who needs to hear this is all part of a larger story.


Anonymous said...


Jessie Carty said...

that's what the best memoir does :)