Sunday, January 20, 2013

100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do by Kim Stafford

A few weeks ago I expressed my love and appreciation for this book on the elegant art of listening.  I was so impressed by the author's love of words and writing that I thought I would check out his new memoir  100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared.  It was not readily available at the bookstore, so I asked my public library if they would order it, and it showed up in about two weeks.  (Love the public library!)

This is such a fine and exceptional book that I can't stop thinking about it.  Stafford makes everything seem effortless yet profound. His writing is smooth and creamy and makes me want to eat it at every meal.  He is writing about his beloved brother who committed suicide 20 years earlier.  Mr Stafford remembers his brother in a series of stories from their youth together, their short adulthood together and the aftermath of living with such a tragic end to someone you loved.

Every week I sit in the company of great writers who pour their hearts out in short poems, and memoirs of their lives.  Word upon word, each writer is building a series of stories and vignettes not unlike these.  I loved this work.  All the stories individually and as a collective quilt of stories, were without question true and beautiful: honesty that cut to the bone of life.  My fellow writers and I can and do easily write this beautifully and could piece our pieces together to form a grand story, but something about the way he did it seemed profound and unreachable.  He has left something tugging at my heart. Writing that is worth emulating in its candor and vulnerability.

God Bless my library for buying this for me, but  I will have to buy my own copy.  There are many writing lessons to be learned here.

For my reader that lives in Portland. This man runs the Northwest Writing Institute.  You should check it out and take a class from him.  Better yet, I'll come visit and we can both take a course from him.


Steph said...

Yay for public libraries!

Steph said...

And I must investigate this NW Writing Institute more!

Anonymous said...

I just finished this breathtaking book this a.m., on your recommendation. Thanks!
SO much to think about. I am buying my own copy to ponder and reread. MKP