I went to the launch of Landed. I took a couple of friends to the Dannevirke Library at 6pm last Friday and the place was heaving. Sue McCauley has a strong local fan base and she can count me in. It felt like the whole town was there and they were all buying her book. Made my heart sing. And then Sue took the chair (kind of perched, she’s little), and entertained us. The microphone was unnecessary, she has a good story-telling voice and she told us some anecdotes, gave out thanks, made some self-deprecating jokes and read from her book. She sort of tried to put us off buying the book, saying there’s no real story, it doesn’t follow proper book rules in terms of structure. Nothing happens. Course she didn’t put anyone off.
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Grand, becoming my mother’s daughter by Noelle McCarthy
Memoirs are so deeply personal they make me terrified. I can’t imagine ever wanting to write one. Now I know so much about Noelle McCarthy she’s no longer just that engaging, Irish voice on the radio. We’re so much closer than that. Things got personal very fast. I feel I’ve seen her naked. Why do people do this?
Saying that, it’s terrific for a reader. Who doesn’t want to wander through someone else’s thoughts for a while? Especially someone this smart and interesting. We can access their memories, become a voyeur of their lives. Judge them. A memoir is very different to a story (fact or fiction) told about someone else; psychologically a totally different thing. Noelle (usually I refer to an author by surname, but we’re intimates) tells us how she sees herself, with access to all that interior landscape. OK, so the book is ostensibly about her mother, but it’s about her. Noelle McCarthy. What a great woman.
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