Darin Strauss is my new best friend. Or at least it feels that way to me as a reader of his deeply personal memoir HALF A LIFE. At some level, all memoirs give me that feeling – here is a total stranger who is sharing their life with me (and you, and the thousands upon thousands of other readers who choose to read their book). The feeling is compounded when I get to meet and interview a memoirist, and it’s always a challenge to remember that they don’t actually know me the way I feel I know them.
But back to Darin and HALF A LIFE. In this extraordinary book Darin shares the story of a tragic car accident that occurred when he was 18 years old. No one was officially at fault, but Darin was driving the car and the girl he struck did not survive. What makes the story extraordinary is Darin’s willingness to share everything he thought over the ensuing years whether it cast him in a good light or not.
What is extraordinary about my conversation with Darin is that you can hear that he is still working through exactly how to feel about all of this and still growing as a human being.
This book has clearly struck a chord with readers who have been in similar situations, but I think it is more far reaching than that. We have all struggled with things in our lives and I believe we have all had thoughts that we wouldn’t want to admit out loud. This book confirms that we’re not alone.
On a lighter note, at the end of the interview Darin (who is best known for his works of fiction like CHANG AND ENG) talks about what he is working on now and he has two very exciting projects in the works. Of course I’m not going to tell you… you’ll just have to listen!
As always, I hope you enjoy the interview. And be sure to check out the rest of the series on iTunes!
– Dana Barrett, Managing Editor