First, the good news (good news!!). An early review for MALNOURISHED; A MEMOIR OF SISTERHOOD AND HUNGER came in from Foreword Reviews.
(Here I must pause for a short cheer: Yay for early reviews! Yay for the people putting in the time and effort to carefully read and write about books! Yay for the beauty and agony of it all!)
Here are some of the tidbits (I’m not sure if I have permission to reprint the entire review):
Elegant prose and intimate details elevate Cinthia Ritchie’s mental health memoir Malnourished to a requiem for her sister.
Emotions are palpable in the prose, as tender as fresh wounds.
The book admits to deep, animal compulsions that the higher human mind would rather ignore: licking a newborn baby’s hair; taking a nibble of a loved one’s ashes; sneaking a look at a sibling’s secret writings.
So yes, there’s that. Though I have to admit that marketing a book is tough. Marketing a memoir is tough. Marketing a memoir that has to do with death, eating disorders, family dysfunction and all of that unhappy stuff is even tougher.
The most difficult part is how vulnerable I feel. Soon, people will be reading my most intimate thoughts, they’ll be viewing all of my mistakes and failures (and trust me, there were many of these), they’ll be, and here I have to say it–they’ll be judging me, the way we always unconsciously judge the people we read about.
I feel naked. I want to huddle in a dark room while watching Netflix and ignoring my computer, which is so very easy to do when you live in Alaska in the winter and you’re losing daylight fast and everything feels dark and deep and grainy.
And yet, I also feel strangely liberated. I’ve done it. I’ve told my story to the world. There’s a passage from Michael Dorris’ A Yellow Raft in a Blue Lake that’s I’ve always loved:
“There’s a weight off me. I said it all out loud, and the world didn’t come to an end. I listened to my story, let loose, running around free in the morning air, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It didn’t even take that long to tell, once I got started.”
In other news:
I loved this piece PARTY GIRL in Gay Magazine (Roxane Gay’s new publication) by Monica D. Drake, about how a sex scene from a story she submitted to a well-regarded literary magazine was read and mocked by one of the magazine’s intern to a group of drunk guys at a party. It’s shocking to think that this could happen (and what a violation of trust, right?). Yet the piece is beautifully and deftly crafted. It’s a must read for anyone who submits to literary magazines, and any type of magazine or publication, for that matter.