MEMOIR

You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir

Atria/One Signal Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982185855. $28. MEMOIR
COPY ISBN
In her memoir, award-winning poet Smith (Good Bones) uses poetic vignettes to dissect the ending of her marriage and her journey toward self-love. Smith starts with her husband’s infidelity, something she tackled in her 2020 book, Keep Moving. She moves effortlessly between first and third person, short sections, repeating titles, and recurring themes to examine a life she never imagined for herself. The author never refers to her ex-husband (the addresser) or his lover (the addressee) by name, keeping them both on the outskirts of the new life she is creating. But her children, Violet and Rhett, play a central role as she leans on them, her family, and friends as she makes sense of motherhood, gender roles, and power dynamics that exist in every relationship. Through self-interrogation, Smith crafts her experiences into ones that connect to the larger struggles of women’s lives and how people work to create something new out of places in their lives that have ghosts and hold secrets.
VERDICT This innovative memoir will attract readers who are drawn to poetry hidden in well-written prose and memoirs and will appeal to those who seek meaning in reinventing their lives.
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.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

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

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?