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By Madeleine Blais

From the foreword by way of Geneva Overholser.

What is it approximately relatively fantastic writers, how they satisfaction, intrigue, compel us?

Style, you assert. yet variety isn't really anything you start with. particularly, it truly is what you find yourself with, as a result way more primary characteristics. qualities corresponding to an ear and an eye fixed and a middle, qualities that Madeliene Blais has honed fantastically good.

This is a booklet good named: the guts Is an tool: graphics in Journalism. the guts is unquestionably first between Blais's presents. no matter if she is writing concerning the famous--playwright tennessee Williams, novelist Mary Gordon--or concerning the least increased between us--a teenage prostitute contaminated with the AIDS virus, a homeless schizophrenic--she brings to her matters an incomparable empathy.

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It built slowly, the decision of the Livergood family to tell Trish's story and their own, and it might not have happened at all if Patricia, after her release from Chattahoochee, had been able to make it without their intervention, even allowing for an extremely liberal definition of what making it might mean for someone with Trish's disability. This is Trish's view of the family, from her autobiography, written in that frantic cramped script while she was feeling what she calls "paranoid," her all-purpose word for when she is unmedicated, out-of-sorts, and hallucinating: Page 18 "I don't feel my family is qualified to control my life.

And if you asked her why she did it she would say didn't you always wonder what it would be like to pee in your pants. When she's sick, she has this laughter called inappropriate laughter. She has bouts of violence. She hit Granga, she hit my mom. When she's crazy, she can be very, very strong. She jumped over a six-foot-tall wall with a fence on top of it at one hospital. She brought a parade of street people into our house, Jesus freaks, druggies, cons for sure. She went swimming-pool-hopping with Meg's kids; they were three and five.

She addressed the floor rather than her sister directly. " "Oh oh. " Trish looked up. Her brown eyes were lighted by blue makeup applied with some care. Her hair was down and she Page 30 twisted a strand as she spoke. " Sue braced. She kept her voice very calm and gave her sister a level look. "Trish, I have to be honest. Not everyone in the family is sold on seeing you again. " Trish didn't respond. "I'll ask them. I'll do what I can. I think you've changed. I really do. You know this is the first time you've admitted you have a disease.

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