Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reading Robert Goolrick

I had so much fun participating in the Book Blogger Hop last week, I couldn't resist returning this week, and the topic is one that has intrigued and surprised me. The question is a simple one: Who is your favorite new-to-you author this year.

As I was looking back over my reading in my sidebar, I was tempted to say Marilyn Johnson or Lucy Knisley, but I've gushed about them a good deal lately. The other contender that jumped from the list really did shock me: Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife.

If you've been reading here a while, you might remember that I had some issues with this book. However, despite my quibbles, it is by far one of the most memorable books I've read this year, and one of the most engrossing. It's hard for me to give a book a higher compliment than that when so many plots and characters are quickly forgotten.

I decided to do a bit of research on Robert Goolrick since I know very little, and while I didn't find a great deal of personal information, the one bit I did find, seems all the more powerful. Before writing A Reliable Wife, he published a memoir titled, The End of the World As We Know It: Scenes from a Life. In this essay, he explains how that book came to fruition. I hope I can entice you by saying that he asked a homeless many "What happened to you" and that question resulted in his own bit of soul searching. Thus, he started writing his life to make sense of it .

While I will always have issues with some parts of A Reliable Wife, I know I'll also remember it and hold onto the characters with all their flaws and intricacies. I admire Goolrick's reverence for normal people and everyday lives, and I do agree that everyday stories can be profound and often very touching and affecting. Worth writing about.

Who is your favorite new-to-you author this year?

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