How to Write an Autobiographical novelWriting an Autobiographical Novel
As one writes an autobiographical novel: Aleksandr Chee in top shape
An autobiographical novel, a new anthology of essays by Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is a breathtaking novel, both for its fragility and for its excellent phrases. You can' t be a foreigner like that kind of letter that hurts. He is the writer of Edinburgh 2001 and the Queen of the Night 2016, and he tends to write the kind of wealthy, extensive textbooks that take years and years to compile - hence the decade-long gulf between his two fiction series.
The way to write an autobiographical novel works on a smaller-scale but it isn't less challenging or momentous. Chee's essay deals with his life: his 15-year period as an international undergraduate in Mexico ("where folks regarded me, saw me and didn't look at me like an object"), his father's passing, his days in colleges and schools, his days as a waitress working for the Buckleys, his times as a novel writer and until the 2016 elections ("the choice that we all talk about only as the choice for now," as if there would never be another one").
Most of the volume engrosses in Chee's battles as a colored homosexual author, but the core of the volume comes towards the end, in a series of three etchings surrounding the Edinburgh Letter. The Edinburgh story is about a young man who is under sexual abuse by his choirmaster. Chee concluded: "Let me practise saying what I recall aloud until the date I can recall everything".
where Chee could struggle with what was happening to him. However, there is a certain degree of ambition in the Katharsis Chee finds in How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. Chee warned in the cover: "Write a fictional story about your own lives and use your lives to make payments, at least three times."
Edinburgh's writing was to destroy the image of himself that he presented to the outside, his close associates and his ancestors, and to create a new self that he is not quite sure is truer than the last.