I just finished reading Durga Chew-Bose’s book of essays Too Much and Not in the Mood. The book drew me in, in a way I wasn’t expecting. I’ve been reading a lot of books of essays by women, by women of colour, in the past couple of years, but this one was different.
I’ve not ever read a published book of essays that was written in such a stream of consciousness way. In the way that I write when I’m trying to get from one thought to another and go off in one direction before finding my way to the ending. A book that made me want to write more. To get back to writing the way I used to.
She also talks about things that resonate with my memory. She grew up in Montreal, just a few years younger than me, and her experiences are not quite mine, but not dissimilar enough for it to matter. In some ways, it’s as though she’s the me that went for that dream of being a writer, instead of finding a way to incorporate writing in a “real” job.
She mentions pulling out her Prismacolour pencil crayons and my memory rushes back – I always wanted the fancy Prismacolours, but they were more expensive that was justifiable for craft use and so I stuck with Crayola.
It’s the kind of book that made me less of a reader, and more of a person racing to see what she would say next, where this story would go, bringing it back together to a point that would not only make sense, but resonate. She re-awakened memories and allowed me to re-examine my focus.
She made me want to dive in a just write, without thinking, letting the pen flow. I miss that.