Fiction Ruined My Family

Fiction Ruined My Family

by Jeanne Darst
4.0 7

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Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Darst

"Beautifully paced . . . heartbreaking and hilarious."—USA Today 

Augusten Burroughs meets Mary Karr: a deeply funny and wickedly entertaining family memoir.

The youngest of four daughters in an old, celebrated St. Louis family-- of prominent journalists and politicians on one side, debutantes and equestrians on the other-- Jeanne Darst grew up hearing stories of past grandeur. And the message she internalized as a young girl was clear: While things might be a bit tight for us right now, it’s only temporary. Soon her father would sell the Great American Novel and reclaim the family’s former glory.

The Darsts move from St. Louis to New York, and Jeanne’s father writes one novel, then another, which don’t find publishers. This, combined with her mother’s burgeoning alcoholism, lead to financial disaster and divorce. And as Jeanne becomes an adult, she is horrified to discover that she is not only a drinker like her mother, but a writer like her father. At first, and for years, she embraces both activities— and until she can stop putting drinking and writing ahead of everything else, it’s a questionable choice.

Ultimately, Darst sets out to discover whether a person can have the writing without the ruin, whether it’s possible to be both sober and creative, ambitious and happy, a professional author and a parent. Filled with brilliantly flawed, idiosyncratic characters and punctuated by Darst’s irreverent eye for absurdity, Fiction Ruined My Family is a lovingly told, wickedly funny portrait of an unconventional life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101547847
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/29/2011
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 623,493
File size: 271 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jeanne Darst is a writer/performer who has written for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, and performed her solo plays in bars, barns, and living rooms across the United States. An excerpt from this book aired on This American Life. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Fiction Ruined My Family 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
voyager8 More than 1 year ago
Memoirs are my genre of choice so I may be a bit more critical as I read much to compare but this was pretentious name dropping crap. I didn't get thru it, a waste of my time and money. Now Whateverland by Alexis Stewart is turning out to be a pleasant surprise..enjoying every un pretentious word!!!!!
CorporateHippie More than 1 year ago
I am complete stranger to the writer and have nothing to gain or lose by writing this review, other than sharing something that I enjoyed. I saw Ms Darst read from her book at BookCourt in Brooklyn, and got a sense of her "scrappy" personality and deadpan humor. I picked up the book right after that and finished it in two evenings. I think this book is one of the best in the genre of humorous memoir, right up there with works by Sara Barron, Wendy Burden, and Haven Kimmel. Jeanne has some great characters to work with, particularly her father. One of the key insights is "Like all tragic heroes he has a fundamental lack of self-awareness." She also makes herself the target of much of the humor. She realizes that she inherited some of the traits of both her mother and her father, and is constantly trying to prove that "I am not an id-i-ot." Let me give one example of her humor. "As a kid I was absolutely terrified of cliches. My father forbade them in our home... They were gateway language leading straight to a business major, a golfy marriage, needlepoint pillows that said things about your golf game, and a self-inflicted gunshot to your head that your family called a heart attach in your alma mater announcements." Besides the humor, I like the writer's unsentimental exploration of her emotions about the decline of her parents, and her own struggle as a starving artist. I highly recommend this book to other readers. You will laugh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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obeythekitty More than 1 year ago
description of author's family quite funny but got boring when she shifted focus to her own alcoholism
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Falls asleep* ((ou need to buy baby stuff