Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Limo driver and performance artist 'found her voice' on 'This American Life'

This story about a memoirist seems to me representative of several odd strains in our culture.

Writer-performance artist Jeanne Darst wrote lots of stories about her dysfunctional family, which she "performed in one-woman shows she performed in her living room to help pay the rent," according to the story. Reading this, I thought, Oh right. This is the same world Miranda July lives in. You make yourself into a twee storyteller in the David Sedaris mode, and sure enough: "This American Life" is "where Darst began to find her voice as a memoirist." This led directly to a book contract.

Well, that's nice! You get to find your voice on the premiere radio show for memoir, really? Take a giant step, eh?

Just sour grapes on my part. I think it was that bit, which the journalist wrote, not something that came from her, suggesting "This American Life" is like a stepping stone rather than being what it is right now, which is a pinnacle. She's just someone doing exactly what 10,000 other writers are doing, only doing it better, and oh by the way, being an attractive slender woman who lives in L.A. You go!

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