I wanted to share this post from Richard at Narrative:
Conroy’s one of my favorite writers. I read his memoir Stop-Time about a decade ago, after trying to write a short story about my then strained relationship with my dad. While Conroy’s narrative about his relationship with his father is absorbing — it’s not the whole subject of the memoir — what drew me in most were Conroy’s sentences — deceptively simple declarative sentences packed with meaning.
Stop-Time‘s also one of the first creative-nonfiction memoirs I’d ever read. It’s a fine example of the form.
Some of the interview excerpts from Richard’s post that drew me into Conroy’s mind:
“The power and almost obscene wealth of parts of America resemble nothing so much as the Roman Empire. I don’t understand why people aren’t completely scandalized by the degrading of humanity through films and television over the last twenty years, a degradation of the soul. I’m not religious, but I insist on being able to use some of the concepts generally scorned in a secular society. The soul and spirituality are important parts of life . . . . The spiritual emptiness of society is very deep and unsettling, so people are looking for something better.”
“I don’t believe in the natural writer. I believe in the natural reader who gradually begins to write. You can’t write independent of literature, so you read, you read, you read, you read, you read, and then you begin to write.”