A History of Scars

Atria. Mar. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781982127282. pap. $16.99. LIT
Lee debuts with a collection of personal essays, detailing struggles with her family, identity, and mental health. The author earned her MFA in creative writing studying under Roxane Gay at Purdue University, and this book is developed from her dissertation. She writes about numerous aspects of her life, including her mother's life with early Alzheimer’s, her use of rock climbing to relieve emotional pressure, and her relationship with her writing. Each essay has its own individual personality, which results in repetition of information in some places, and the feeling of missing something important in others. The narrative is moving and poignant, but often chaotic, similar to the life the author is often portraying. While the format is a solid reflection of the content, it is often difficult to follow; intermixed with meaningful ideas are random asides that distract, rather than add to the narrative. Ultimately, what Laura Lee created is a display of raw humanity that is both powerful and vulnerable.
VERDICT Though the writing sometimes appears to be unpolished, Lee offers some interesting commentary on life. These essays may appeal to readers interested in writing and mental health.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing