I don’t think I’ve ever read a less judgmental book, let alone a less judgmental family history. Waldrop refuses to psychologize or allegorize, to excuse, pity, or condescend. Someone looking for a conventional novel or memoir might experience this as a kind of imaginative poverty, but it’s his restraint that allows Waldrop to depict so powerfully the world “as it was and as it is.”
His supposedly poor imagination—his power of attunement to the world—allows Waldrop to present scenes of quiet power most authors would overwrite or ignore…
Ben Lerner on Keith Waldrop’s memoir, “Light While There Is Light”: http://nyr.kr/128rcAD
Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.