Land­slide: True Stories

Min­na Proctor

  • From the Publisher
September 11, 2017

Min­na Zall­man Proc­tor’s Land­slide is a cap­ti­vat­ing col­lec­tion of inter­con­nect­ed per­son­al essays. These true sto­ries” explore the author’s com­pli­cat­ed rela­tion­ship with her moth­er — who was diag­nosed with can­cer at age fifty-sev­en and died fif­teen years lat­er — and the ways in which their con­nec­tion was long the prime mover” of Proctor’s life, the sub­tle force cours­ing beneath her adult­hood. As such, these vibrant essays also nar­rate the tri­als and tri­umphs of Proctor’s own life — shift­ing between Amer­i­ca and Italy (and lov­ing being a for­eign­er, the con­stant sense of unfa­mil­iar­i­ty that sup­plant­ed all of my expec­ta­tions and dis­ap­point­ments”), her bumpy first mar­riage, the pro­found plea­sure she takes in moth­er­hood, and the con­found­ing expe­ri­ence of try­ing to arrange a Jew­ish bur­ial for her Jew­ish, not quite Jew­ish” mother.

Proc­tor has an integri­ty and humor that is nev­er extin­guished despite life’s mount­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. She also sly­ly ques­tions her own nar­ra­tive through­out. Not hav­ing told this sto­ry before means I nev­er fixed many details in my mem­o­ry,” she writes. “[I] have to rely on flash­es, the trans­par­ent stills that hang in my mind, made of smell, the way the light casts, the wind on skin.” The essays in this book are a sharply intel­li­gent explo­ration of what hap­pens when death and divorce unmoor you from cer­tain­ties, and about the unre­li­able sto­ries we tell our­selves, and oth­ers, in order to live.

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