“My memory is an archipelago.”

ThomasAbigailArranging everything in chronological order in memoirs can be, well, boring. The challenge is finding an alternative structural method that doesn’t bewilder readers. The author of this memoir takes a bold approach: she gives us many tiny stories/reflections/anecdotes as stand-alone chapters, and she lets us draw our own conclusions and connections. It looks to me as if she selected this structure because it reflects the way her memory works. She says that her memory is like an archipelago — “thousands of small islands forming something whose shape I could not determine.” I find it creative and authentic, honest and moving.

Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It (New York: Scribner, 2015), 184.

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