A post by Giselle Renarde
My life's been overwhelmingly eventful lately, so I haven't been carving out as much reading time as I'd like. The book I'm slowly working my way through is Miriam Toews's The Flying Troutmans.
It's a road trip book.
I don't drive, I don't spend much time in cars, and so I find road trips particularly exciting.
I wish I could write like Miriam Toews. I say that every time I read one of her books, but I absolutely love the sardonic tone she uses to approach themes of depression and suicide. I find her books very funny. Depression, suicide... hilarious stuff.
You really have to read her books to understand what I mean.
And you could read any of her books to get it. I haven't read everything she's written, but I get the sense the same types of characters show up in all of them: family members of people who are suicidal or people who have committed suicide.
I remember one time listening to someone rant about how nobody should ever write books about relatives of people with disabilities or mental illness--that writers should only centre the character with the disability.
True, those stories can go wrong in a lot of ways.
But, from my perspective, Miriam Toews's books are a prime example of thoughtful, empathetic, and realistic portrayals of the inner lives of family members. I realize that my depression impacts the people around me, so I'm interested in reading these stories of caring and sometimes exasperated relatives.
I'm very close to the end of The Flying Troutmans, so I don't know what's going to happen. I'm curious to find out whether it's possible to run away from the sad--for these characters, that is. In fiction.
In real life, I know that's not possible.