Thursday, May 23, 2013

This Book Will Change Your Life - Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan.

Fact fiction fact fiction place fact fiction fact fiction family fact fiction West Virginia fact fiction story fact fiction love fact fiction fact fiction longing fact fiction fact fiction birth fact fiction fact fiction God fact fiction fact fiction dirt and stones. We don't know if the Scott McClanahan knows where the facts end and the fictions start. We don't know what's true and what's false. We don't know what is story or memoir. And Scott McClanahan may not know himself. But it doesn't matter. Scott McClanhan is in every story he tells, moving from tale to tale, and Crapalachia is just another tale in his ongoing effort to record a life. Still, it may bother you that fact isn't always fact and fiction isn't always fiction. To which Scott might reply, that everything is fact. Everything is fiction. And everything is not. We tell stories to entertain. We tell stories to heal and illuminate the things we hold dear that otherwise have no form or shape. We tell stories because we have to, and those stories change as we do, growing and morphing and becoming fact. So is Crapalachia truth? It is as true as anything else is, because what McClanahan knows is that truth is what we need it to be. He also knows that as long as there is a sliver of truth in a story, that story will speak to us. And so with that we offer you this. The Scott who claims to have written this piece of biography, and do note that it is a biography of place, not person, writes of digging up stones and dirt, putting them in plastic bags, and handing them out as he worked his way around the world. Why did he do this? So that the whole world would become the place he knows. All of it the same biography, all of it fact, and all of it fiction. He said it was magic dirt, and we believed him. We still have our bag. We keep it for luck. We keep it so that some of Scott may rub off on our own storytelling. And we keep it so we can be in the same place he is. That magic dirt is part of the story, his, and ours. It changed our life, and Crapalachia may very well change yours.            

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