I haven’t written about writing in a long time but as I’m trying to instill a love of reading in my students, I want to get them excited about literature through getting myself reinvigorated by literature that has taught me a lot about writing, and life, and myself.
The book that most comes to mind for me right now is Lullabyes for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill. What O’Neill does so successfully and shrewdly in this book is capitalizes on the darkness that is childhood innocence and confusion. That’s something I aspire to be and have never been able to reach it. In my world childhood is dark and it’s not often that darkness is truly captured in a way that is so raw and eerie and yet beautiful and sad, at all at the same time. I’ve been through some shit. This book was like therapy for me.
I also love this book because of the time it’s set in; and I love the father-daughter relationship – it’s odd and dysfunctional and completely fucked up, but at the same time it’s love. Heather O’Neill is so good at writing about strange dysfunctional love of all kinds.
When a book grabs you from page one and has you following a metaphorical thread where you get to completely leave the world behind – especially a world you wouldn’t want to be in and feel awful and dirty and sad residing in – that’s a story.