Age can be a touchy topic for artists of all types. There’s a glamorous myth that says all the geniuses come into their talent at a young age, and by the time they’re 30 they have already reached astonishing heights of prowess.
I’m always looking for good memoirs by women writers and I devoured this one in just a few days. Kvetch is about growing up an Orthodox Jew and a tormented child piano prodigy in South Africa, and offers a rare look at Jewry’s response to the events of apartheid, circa the 1960s. It also goes behind the scenes of two rarefied worlds: classical music performance—and the workings of a California metropolitan daily newspaper.
The Double by Alison Brodie
$3.99 on Kindle
This is one of those books that falls squarely into the category of “delicious fun.” It’s got some mystery, a few cliffhangers, and a strong dose of romance. The plot revolves around the storylines of two different heroines—an A-list rock star celebrity singer and an average everyday woman—but both are whip-smart, fiery, compassionate, and completely relatable.
I’ve noticed a trend in the last year or so among my coaching clients. Many of the writers I’ve worked with have been women writing memoirs. Whether this trend is fueled by the inspiration and success of such bestsellers as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, women are turning out in droves these days to write about the bigness of their lives, or even just one little narrow slice of it. I think this is partly because women feel the freedom to express themselves as never before, unconstrained by expectations about gender, intellect, sexuality and social and political choices. But also because, for the first time in our modern culture, we get the feeling that someone beyond our tiny individual circle of friends might possibly be interested in reading about our lives and the way we chose to live them.
Every woman has to make a choice in her day-to-day life. The choice is not usually conscious, and it is almost never spoken of to others. It is intimately intertwined with her self-esteem, her sexuality, and her emotional history. The choice is very simple, but each option brings the same amount of baggage.