As an avid reader of memoirs, especially those of different cultures, I can certainly attest to how each one represents a different facet of life experiences even when the stories are from the same country, the same culture, the same generation and, probably, even from the same family. I wanted to learn about real life in India, but Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey is only one view from the wealthy. I wanted to learn about the Palestinian experience, but Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat left more questions than answers. Even nonfiction studies or textbooks don’t tell the whole story, even (and especially) the media won’t tell it. The best we can do is to read and read some more, talk to real people, and keep our minds open because no country, no area, no one or several people can come close to being representative of the whole. Xujun notes that “taking a particular part of a thing and believing it as the whole is common in human behavior.” I guess we have a need to pigeonhole things in order to make life less complicated. So easy to live with blinders on.
Cherry Blossom MemoriesYou have a story to tell
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