Television, a memoir
Television, a memoir is a hybrid collection of autobiographical pieces, tragi-comic in spirit, that depict a woman’s life evolving through time and culture in fragmentary glimpses. Indeterminate in genre, Television is a fluid text that sometimes reads as poetry, sometimes as prose, while exploring classism, ableism, and feminism in a world defined by the advent of new media and, for the author, a privilege that often felt suffocating. Working structurally and thematically, television creates conceptual mileposts in the memoir, with certain programs and cultural references corresponding to specific eras in the author’s past, but it also gestures at an existential modality — the experience of a televisual life, the performative arrangements of nuclear families and neighborhoods, the periodic events and dramas of an adolescence watched from outside oneself.
I always thought Larks was a stupid name for a cigarette. They came in a maroon package and boasted innovative charcoal filters that tasted like cheap men’s cologne. I never liked them, but I smoked them out of loyalty to my husband who worked for the manufacturer. Thus, Larks were a constant in my life then, cartons strewn around our dwelling much like, in a later age, my shoes would be. Cartons opened and unopened, cigarette packages on every surface of our lives along with the burnt and smoldering butts and the ubiquitous green haze in the air of the world.
About the Author