So I got to interview The Scientists author Marco Roth for my series on The Rumpus. Even more than most of my other column subjects, Marco knows the perils - and imperatives – of writing about family. He’s a member of the hyper-literary Roth/Roiphe clan, which includes novelist/memoirist Anne Roiphe, and autobiographical fiction writer Emily Carter, among others. As I spell out in the interview and in the preamble, there’s been a lot of overlap in the family members’ writing, and a lot of hurt feelings. But somehow they all continue to respect each other’s right to their versions of the truth, and they go on, staying in each other’s lives.
I had this conversation with Marco a few months ago, actually. Shortly after we spoke, though, Hurricane Sandy disrupted my family’s life, and, by association, mine. And then, related to that, tensions grew between my father and me. I couldn’t go near this topic for a while, and had to shelve this.
Finally, a few weeks ago, I reached the point where I found I had to step away from my relationship with my dad, at least for now. I won’t go into details here right now. I’m sad and conflicted, but I am also able to breathe in a way that I hadn’t been able to for a long time.
It might seem ironic that I took this step after interviewing someone who manages to keep family in his life despite whatever any of them write. But this has been building, and all fourteen of the interviews I’ve done, so far, have helped me along toward this - something that feels essential right now. (via emilygould)