I read this Memoir, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, not too long ago. I loved it and I found myself emotionally attached to many of the people she’d written about.
Well, one of those people had Cancer. Even in the book, she talked about the treatments and the worry. I even knew from a blog posts before reading the Memoir. I knew about the Cancer in this case as much as I knew about the cancer in The Fault In Our Stars. I knew what I was getting into.
Well, Anthony was Amanda Palmer’s best friend and mentor for 30 years and the book gave me all this fondness for a person I’ve never met. When she blogged and told us the cancer had come back, I cried. When she blogged and said she had to go back to Boston, I cried.
When she blogged and told us of his passing, I cried.
I cried for Amanda and her pain and for the world having lost someone like Anthony and for the emotional connection I’d developed for a man I’d never known through the honest perspective of a loved one.
That’s the thing about memoirs: they’re real. In Fiction, you get attached to characters. In Memoirs, you get attached to people.
But those people are alive and life changes for everyone. Those real people will have their own joys and tragedies and you could find yourself feeling some feels right there with them.
You feel joy for them and the little boy they’re bring into the world and you feel sorrow for them and their grieving of a loved one passing because that’s the power that a good memoir has.