Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ghost Written

Once again, I picked up a tell all, behind the scenes, pseudo-celebrity tale, The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack.  This was the story behind the great Ponzi schemer and notorious crook, Bernie Madoff.  More specifically, Bernie's daughter-in-law, wife of his son Mark, has written her tale, proclaiming her husband's innocence and the great tragedy that befell her and her family when Bernie came tumbling down.

Ms Mack has a sad story to tell and like many memoirs of late, it really needs more time before it can be properly told.  The writer's wrath and anger and vitriol at her horrible misfortune is too fresh.  I would love to read the book she would write in 20 years.  The book is way too angry, and I found myself actually feeling sorry for Ruth Madoff, who she paints as a horrible human being for no other reason than refusing to divorce her husband.

So, if you are interested in this chapter in American financial history, and a version of the story as told by a family member, it is worth reading. It is quite sorrowful (Ms Mack's husband cannot handle the pressure and commits suicide while he is home alone with their baby son.) and could easily be a primer on how to mourn and, again, as always, a testament to the healing powers of telling your story.

But more than anything it made me wonder about the profession of ghost writing.  I noticed after I was almost finished with the book, that there was a second author, a ghost writer, whose name was on the cover page inside.  I wondered what that would be like, to sit by someone who had a front row seat to history, and to talk with her and then piece together her story in a meaningful way: one that suited the teller of the tale, made sense, and was told with drama.  Anyone know how I can get a ghost writing gig? Or better yet, hire me to write your story? I would love to listen.

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