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Benjamin Anastas

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TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Benjamin Anastas

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TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

By: Benjamin Anastas.

Publisher: New Harvest, 176 pages, $25.

Review: In this arresting book, Anastas writes his way out of a dark place.

MEMOIR: "Too Good to Be True," by Benjamin Anastas

  • Article by: MEGANNE FABREGA
  • Special to the Star Tribune
  • November 17, 2012 - 4:27 PM

'I don't have time to disguise this story for the sake of art," writes novelist Benjamin Anastas in his memoir, "Too Good to Be True," and his haste is uncomfortably evident on every page. He is broke, divorced, a self-described "midlist cuckold," unemployed (and apparently unemployable) and undeniably, utterly stuck.

After a long string of disappointments, Anastas reaches the end of his rope and grasps a small, frayed thread of faith. He mines the depths of his soul every morning in his young son's room, writing his way out of a grief so deep that he did not even recognize its existence until he visited -- in a moment of desperation -- a psychic healer.

Anastas is not naive, and he recognizes that his inability to make even the smallest stride forward with his writing career, despite his best efforts, is eroding his relationship with his girlfriend and his own feeling of self-worth. To continue on this path could be seen as an act of bravery or a fool's errand, but no matter your view, this memoir is undeniably impossible to put down.

"How much of our lives do we write, and how much of them are written for us?" Anastas asks. What an excellent question.

 

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