The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf is the starter book. The book cover says, ‘How images of beauty are used against women’. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."
The first link might be Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion.
Make a left turn here to a memoir by Tony Judt with his Memory Chalet. The memoir is presented as a series of essays which chart some experience or remembrance of his past and is simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet - a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.
The next link might be The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew. This is a moving memoir of a father-son reconciliation. Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond.
Moving to an autobiographical fictional memoir, Ru by Kim Thuy, blurs the line between fiction and nonfiction. Ru is the story of one woman's life as she leaves a privileged life in Vietnam with her family, survives the harrowing experiences of a refugee camp, and finally immigrates to Montréal.
In Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt looks back on his childhood with humour and compassion. His story begins with, “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
From Irish immigrants to Scottish immigrants, we might link to Alistair MacLeod’s No Great Mischief, the story of a fiercely loyal family and the tradition that drives it. The MacDonalds face seemingly unmitigated hardships and cruelties of life. And through these lovingly recounted stories-wildly comic or heartbreakingly tragic-we discover the hope against hope upon which every family must sometimes rely.
So there is our meme for this month. This is our 11th contribution to Six Degrees of Separation (click on the link to see what others have contributed) and we are still using only books we have read. Shirley is responsible for this month's work and there are no repeats this month.