Smart, sassy, self-aware and funny as all get-out, Roberta Swann charms us with her laughter-through-tears narratives. She is a Survivor, Brooklyn’s Ancient Mariner, and we are grateful for her lively testimonies.
Life tosses down windfalls that we don’t always recognize at first. In her beautiful and witty Crack in the Door, Roberta Swann conjures both the moments that sting and the moments that cheer. Whether she’s writing about her mother’s death in limpid prose as stunning as Roland Barthes’ in his Journal de Deuil, recreating the nightmarish horror of a night in jail, visiting a nudist colony, greeting a bear, co-founding the American Jazz Orchestra, or suffering an outpatient mastectomy, her precision as well as her tender humor creates unforgettable pictures. She gathers the rich fruit of her life and makes us feel what a life really is–something whole, brilliant, shining.
In Crack in the Door, Roberta Swann writes with sensitivity and candor about a sometimes unwilling attachment to her mother, a strong-willed, courageous, difficult woman. What emerges from this compelling study is a struggle to define the self, which Roberta Swann does with rigor and style.