Kalpakian "is so entertaining a writer that it takes a while to realize how smart she is..."--"The New Yorker," and her "prose is brilliant and witty ...Show synopsisKalpakian "is so entertaining a writer that it takes a while to realize how smart she is..."--"The New Yorker," and her "prose is brilliant and witty and exciting."--"The Wall Street Journal." This is her 12th novel and latest tour-de-force.Hide synopsis
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As a premise for a book, I liked it. A group of people take a class on writing memoir, and they become friends and learn alot about themselves in the process of writing their memoirs.
The mystery of their teacher is never explained satisfactorily; who she really was, and why she pretended to be a professor.
The author did well to speak with the inidividual narrative voice of each of the characters, so you could feel a distinct change in the style of writing.
I also learned alot about writing memoir, almost as if I had taken the class, myself.
The thing I disliked about it was the story itself. In each individual's memoir, the author paints Christians in an unfavourable light. Each person's story has a Christian as a villain. They are either hypocrites, or cruel and unfeeling people, or members of a violent cult.
The author builds a straw man and then proceeds to knock it down. I was happy to see that particular straw man fall, myself, because I believe it was a misrepresentation of what true Christians believe and how they would act. It's unfortunate that the writer's bitterness shone through in each narrative. It could have been a much better story.
Insight into many different kinds of lives that merge to bring out the best and worst in each other, "The Memoir Club" follows a group of memoir writers who are searching for a bit of life's meaning in their new hobby. What they didn't count on was how this new group of people, gathering together to document their pasts, would entertwine to make a new dramatic present. The best kind of page turner with beautiful turns of phrase and a diverse cast.
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