Thursday, April 29, 2010

Namesake

The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and SonsLance Morrow and I go a long way. My mother named me after him. My mother read an essay he wrote an essay about Imela Marcos' shoes a year before she got pregnant. I emailed him when I was in high school, and he replied back. He even missent an email intended for his wife, one that jokingly read "Her mother and I were just friends." My mother was amused.

This explains why I read The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons with such gusto. Here Lance Morrow principally writes about his father, the Chief, who worked as adviser and speechwriter to Vice President Rockefeller. His father became one of the forces that shaped his person.

There is a sense of struggle as Morrow describes his father. The divorce. The shame. The aloofness. The narration is non-linear. Morrow jumps from one scene to another with transitions that are masterfully done. A notable essayist himself, Morrow's sentences are packed with extraordinary insight, intelligent wit, and vibrant dynamism. I wish I could write like him.

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