A Memoir
Knopf. May 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781101875964. $25.95. MEMOIR
All memoirs are inherently self-regarding, and we must examine our own lives and actions to grow as people. However, Danler’s (Sweetbitter) memoir crosses the line into narcissism. It is full of laments about the two men she is simultaneously involved with; references to all the decadent meals she will never eat again (we are not told why); and stories about her charming but crumbling Laurel Canyon home, which is somehow connected to Fleetwood Mac. Because of these supposed burdens, and because of her parents’ divorce, her strained relationship with her parents, and because of her own divorce, she would like readers to feel as sorry for her as she feels for herself. She would like us to believe that her life has been tragic when really it has been one of relative privilege, with none of its setbacks being out of the ordinary.
VERDICT Though there may be interest owing to the author’s high-profile first book, this too often self-indulgent memoir does not serve to enlighten readers about Danler’s experience or life in general.

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