Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Love a Broad Margin to My Life --Maxine Hong Kingston


241 pages / 1051 KB
5 Stars

I read this book in one sitting. I had a hard time putting it down, and found myself not wanting to be interrupted by phone calls, or the vagaries of living. A memoir of reflections on her life as she faces her 65th birthday, the book travels to China, to Washington DC where she was arrested, to the fire that destroyed her home years ago.

This is a gentle book, an inspiring book. Often, when I read such a book, especially as well written as this one, I thrill for having read it, and despair of ever writing anything again. This book has inspired me to write my own memoir as I face my 72d birthday coming sooner than expected ;-)

I Love a Broad Margin to My Life is a free verse poem, filled with music as she writes about her life, where she's been, what she's done, the whys, and the wherefores. There are many tidbits of fun and useful information scattered freely throughout. Did you know the meaning of the word karma is work, not doom? She lists reasons to live and take joy in life.

If you are a reader of Thoreau, as she is, you will recognize the title as a line from one of his books. The saying hangs over her desk. It will soon hang over mine, and this book will always be close to my hand, and bound within my heart. I am not sure what Thoreau meant when he wrote that line, or what MH Kinston meant when she adopted it, let alone what a 'broad margin to my life' means to you, but to me, it means to surround myself with space to think, to write, to create, to quilt, to learn, to be, to live. Thank you, Ms. Kingston for showing the way.

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