Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Too Good to be True: Memoir

Benjamin Anastas’ memoir Too Good to be True, should probably be required reading for every young person who wants to write and make a living at it.  Make a living is the operative term. Anastas appears to spare no little detail in this work, documenting his plunge as a writer, and along with it, the rest of his life.

Of course in such a book which chronicles decline and failure, there is no little amount of self-pitying. This is to be expected; some parts are difficult to read, but at the least the author maintains a voice that is at once true and unsparing.  Anastas is also very well aware of how he laid the ground work for his artistic, financial, and perhaps relationship fiascoes.

Most of all, this memoir shows just how dangerous it is to have high and inflexible expectations about writing.  In the end, talent may not be enough; work may not be enough; contacts may not be enough.  Persistence and fortitude, however, may get you through the disappointments. 

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