Back On the Rock

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Caroline Knapp

Caroline Knapp is dead.

She has been for a year.

This shakes me in a way I can’t explain. I never met the woman, but I knew her. She was a writer. One so gifted, so vivid in her exploration of her life and women’s lives in general, that I not only felt I knew her, I felt that she knew me. Her textured relationships with her parents, her dogs, her men, herself - all came to life in delicate detail in her books and the columns she wrote for the Boston Phoenix, the New York Times and She wrote about her life, the best and the worst of herself, with an honesty that I found not just brave but necessary.

I fell in love with her writing when I read ‘Drinking: A Love Story’, her book about her battle with alcoholism. I learned about her death from the back jacket of her new book, ‘Appetites: Why Women Want’, which chronicled her earlier fight with anorexia. She beat both those demons but succumbed to lung cancer at 42. It seems unfair that a life so thoughtfully examined and so generously shared should have been cut so short.

So, Caroline, this blog is dedicated to you, as a way to thank you for your words and your work. As a way to say that, in your early passing, I’ve finally learned the lesson.

I’ll write what I want without fear, without worrying what people will think or say or do.

I have the rest of eternity to be chicken.


Blogger Carib Belle said...

A wonderful tribute. And a great example to follow. You've inspired me to read some of Knapp's work.

2:25 PM  

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