Runaway by Erin Keene [7/10]

An editor at Salon, with an expansive yet forensic style, Erin Keane explores her mysterious parents and her upbringing in a sprightly, relevant memoir, “Runaway: Notes on the Myths that Made Me.” Her mother ran away for the first time at the age of 13. It was 1970, just after the peak of flower power. I was fifteen years old then and longed, some days, to run away, but I was dutiful and never did. Erin Keene’s mother did and over the next two years survived and flourished in America’s cities. Then at age fifteen, she married a thirty-six-year-old man, Erin’s father. The father died when the daughter was five and she grew up among family secrets and myths. Runaway digs into the past while interrogating the cultural props the author employed during her youth, interrogating, for example, the movie Manhattan reviewed after the revelations of #MeToo, and The Gilmore Girls.

Yes, Runaway retells her familial story but it also shines a light on the most ancient of questions: who tells our stories and why and how? Heartily recommended.

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