Michael Sala: The Last Thread

Second in line

Kate Holden

 

The Last Thread
by Michael Sala
Affirm Press, $27.95 pb, 256 pp, 9780987132680

 

Memoir, it seems, is proliferating ever more furiously in Australia, filling bookshelves and review pages like bacteria in still water. We are insatiable in our appetite to read and write memoir, to feel the ‘real’. As a memoirist myself, I am all too aware of my hypocrisy in feeling uneasy about this rage for introspection. But memoir is most successful when it portrays an extraordinary individual; or gives witness to an important experience (accounts of Holocaust survivors, say); or when the personal resonates with the universal, and one person’s experience becomes a prism for that of many. A memoir that hesitates to claim such reader-oriented ratifications risks being a tedious assembly of anecdotes, a public catharsis, or mere narcissism.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in February 2012 no. 338

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.