Equal parts revelation and inspiration, these eleven essays combine a memoir of an exotic life, reflections on the art and craft of writing, and a brilliant examination of the always complex relationship between fiction and life. An account of translating a difficult mother into fiction, "Taming the Gorgon," becomes a poignant and hilarious meditation on the intricate knot binding mothers and daughters. The story of a scandal created by publication, "Sex with the Servants," becomes an inquiry into the porous boundary between private truth and public betrayal.
Whether examining the difference between a story told and a story written, or describing the trials and rigors of teaching writing to pay the rent, Freed surprises, instructs, and entertains. Learned, opinionated, and wickedly funny, Freed tears off all fictional disguises and exposes the human being behind the artist. For writers, readers, or anyone engaged in literature, this is essential reading.