In this day and age everyone is used to writing their thoughts down in condensed little snippets thanks to twitter, texts, and a slew of other platforms geared towards abbreviated prose. But what happens when you take it a step further and compile over a decade worth of memories into short, spirited bursts? Bestselling author Clifford Chase describes how his critically acclaimed memoir THE TOOTH FAIRY started out:
“In early 2001 I began pulling sentences seemingly out of the air. Each sentence described only a moment, but together they described my current state of mind and thus formed a narrative of that period of my life (including a tooth extraction, a trip to Italy, starting on an antidepressant, and hating my job as a public-relations writer).”
The result is incredible, the pages bustle with sounds and snippets from the jostling New York City streets to the wild B-52 songs spilling out of an old dorm record player. Check out what the New York Times had to say about this pitch-perfect memoir!
Excerpt from The New York Times Book Review:
"Which feels more true: a memoir told in fits and starts, stutters and sighs, a blend of sensual details and analytic asides? Or one that hews to the conventions of narrative with a beginning, middle and end? All memoirists know order is a contrivance, but readers also rely on the writer to create art by organizing the mess of life.
I thought of these questions while reading Clifford Chase’s new book, “The Tooth Fairy: Parents, Lovers, and Other Wayward Deities (A Memoir).” It opens with a quotation from the poet James Schuyler: “Out there / a bird is building a nest out of torn up letters.” Like this resourceful bird, Chase builds his searching memoir out of torn-up letters, snippets of conversations, accounts of dreams, quotes from journals and observations from his daily life. The effects are candid, confessional and… always original.
“The Tooth Fairy” jumps back and forth through time and place, from New York to California, from early childhood to 9/11, from coming out after college to watching his aging parents decline. It presents life through the prisms of relationships — with parents and lovers, yes, but also with a dentist, a therapist and a brother, presumably the “wayward deities” of the subtitle.
Most paragraphs are but a sentence long, and as isolated on the page as Chase portrays himself in life. Starkly couched in white space, each observation assumes greater meaning. The best of them recall the intimate book “I Remember” (1970), by the gay poet and painter Joe Brainard."