A Wising Up Anthology Heather Tosteson Charles D. Brockett Editors
We frown upon double lives, but laud reinvention as the perpetual rebirth of our best self. But are these two states so very different for us as we live them? Are these states so very different for the people who accompany us? The thirty talented authors gathered in this anthology explore these questions from many different perspectives through memoir, story, and poetry and raise some very specific and fascinating ones of their own: What does it mean to understand the numbers tattooed on your father’s arm are not those of an old girlfriend? What does it mean to have the language and the customs of the home be incomprehensible to the larger world in which you are schooled? What does it mean, innocent and illegitimate, to be your mother’s deepest secret? What does it mean to look back on your younger self, who did not cry at her father’s death, or who walked out of her abusive mother’s house without saying goodbye to her baby sister? What does it mean to be responsible for your brother’s death? To discover your husband has a secret sexual life, your father has another son? What does it mean to be kidnapped and develop a second self to survive the ruptures of place, culture, language? To choose a marriage that defi es our sexual conventions? To be so taken with a fictive identity that you no longer know yourself outside it? Through all this wonderful variety, another question rises and answers itself: this sharing is what it means to discover an integrity that doesn’t narrow experience, rather lets it flow through us in all its truth and duplicity, verve and sorrow. 298 pp.