Stories are the tellers of us

As a book lover and avid reader, I keep finding bits of prose or narrative that strike at the heart of personal history, memoir, and story-telling.  I’m reading along at a good clip and suddenly, I screech to a halt because there on the page is the truth about storytelling, cementing my belief that everyone has a story that needs airing and sharing.  Listen, for example, to Minny, an unforgettable character in Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help: “Every time we meet, I complain, I moan. I get mad and throw a hot potato fit. But here’s the thing: I like telling my stories … When I leave, the concrete in my chest has loosened, melted down so I can breathe for a few days.” Or to Little Bee in Chris Cleave’s novel Little Bee: “I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop.  Our stories are the tellers of us.”     The tellers of us. This is the heart and soul of personal history.  (December 16, 2010)

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