Boyd Lemon is a very brave man. I have just finished his memoir, Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages, where he studies the failures of his three marriages and his role in their collapses. Not only does he dive to the bottom of his psyche, he writes very personal details of his thoughts, perspectives, expectations – and worse – his experiences of sex and drugs (usually involving a wife). Heavens! But Boyd dares to expose all in his quest for understanding and in his desire to help others, especially those who grew up in the same era he did, on the cusp of the immense social changes of the 60s and 70s. Boyd manages to objectively examine his own beliefs and behaviors instead of playing the blame game or exacting written revenge on his ex-wives. [Very Important: do not write your memoir until any anger you have against others you include in your story has cooled off.]
Sharon Lippincott, author of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing, interviewed Boyd Lemon about the delicate subject of how his ex-wives viewed his memoir exposing them to the world. Since Boyd was a lawyer most of his life, he probably had more clue than the rest of us about how not to get sued for writing unflattering things about others, but he is very generous with and respectful of his ex-spouses, knowing that neither they nor he was perfect and trying to understand their perspectives. Digging Deep is well worth reading, especially for middle-aged and older readers who will undoubtedly recognize some of their own foibles in the pages, and for those who plan to write about their own difficult relationships.
One last observation: Digging Deep uses an unconventional and innovative literary tactic of using present tense as Boyd writes and experiences the frustrations of writing his memoir, then switches to past tense to tell the actual stories of his marriages. The tenses/timeframes are separated by three centered asterisks to help the reader transition. It works brilliantly. And Boyd writes very well, interspersing lovely prose in his eye-opening stories. You shouldn’t get bored. (Warning: sexual details, but never gratuitous).
"Cherry Blossoms in Twilight"