A Feature Review of
Undone: When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together
Laura Sumner Truax
Reviewed by Rachel Marie Stone
Laura Sumner Truax is one the keynote speakers at next week’s CCDA conference in New Orleans!
Don miss her talk!!!
My grandmother had been languishing in her dingy apartment, drinking herself to death, for decades. Despite what was obvious to the rest of us, my grandmother persisted in the delusion that she knew better than any of us, and rebuffed all our attempts at intervention. When some people from Alcoholics Anonymous came to talk to her, she listened politely and later dismissed the encounter with, “the poor dears are so sincere,” as the ice tinkled in its tumbler of pure vodka. My grandmother spoke in a sort of fake Hollywood/French/British accent to disguise her impoverished, Yiddish-speaking upbringing. She was convinced that she knew better than everyone how to live, an illusion she could maintain only by keeping everyone away, including her family. Because it only took one look at her wizened frame and yellowed skin to see that her idea of herself didn’t match up with any reality that others could see. Looking at my grandmother; hearing her voice over the phone, I became convinced that facing reality, however ugly or harsh, was to be valued far above any masks that might prettify the truth.