I can't find Bauby, and other moments on the way to memoir essays

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yesterday, mid-afternoon, a tapping at my front door. It was my friend, Elizabeth Mosier, whom I greeted with wet hair and an exasperated sigh—not, perhaps, the most polite hello to a talented, good soul whom I'd not seen all summer long.

"I can't find it," I said at once, and because Libby is Libby, she was down on the floor beside me in seconds, sorting through my memoir collection in search of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby. It's a slender book, an important book, a book I needed to make a point in an essay I was writing. But because my memoirs are double or triple stacked (and also live in plastic bins—one in the house, two in the basement), finding poor Bauby was becoming an exercise in futility.

Libby and I took our walk, at last. I went to my father's house, to water orchids. I made turkey hash out of the turkey I'd roasted the night before, and then I searched again, until, at last, I had Bauby in my hands.

I've written nearly a dozen essays about memoir in these weeks surrounding the launch of Handling the Truth—meditating on new angles, discussing new books, weighing emerging considerations against old ones. It's been an extraordinary time, a chance to reconnect with classics and to fill my shelves (and iPad) with brand new titles. Not all of the essays have appeared in print quite yet, but I invite those of you who might be looking for more to read to scan the essays now listed here, on the Handling page. I'll share the final essays as they appear.

And thank you, Libby Mosier, for being that kind of understanding book friend.


Elizabeth Mosier said...

It must have been the turkey hash! All that chopping clears the neural pathways in the brain so that the lost book is suddenly found!

Kelly Simmons said...

If the two of you are eating homemade turkey hash together somewhere without me I am gonna cry.

turquis said...

You might could get a library intern from Drexel to catalog your collection so you could easily access them.

Serena said...

So glad that you found the book you were looking for, this happens to me too often.

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