Memoir by Kaylie Jones ’81 Deals with a Difficult Mother, Becoming a Writer

Kaylie Jones '81

Kaylie Jones '81 (photo by Scott Christian Anderson)

Novelist Kaylie Jones ’81 has written a new memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me (William Morrow, 2009) in which she explores her life growing up with her well-known father, who was also a writer (From Here to Eternity) and her mother, who as an alcoholic who could be cruel and unloving.

Jones also writes about her adulthood as she struggles to overcome her own drinking problem and to become a writer in the shadow of her father, and the difficulties of dealing with her mother as she declines physically and mentally.

Book by Kaylie Jones ’81.

Book by Kaylie Jones ’81.

In her review of the book in The New York Times, Janet Maslin writes: “… it’s a bright, fast-paced memoir with an inviting spirit. There is real immediacy to the family portraits … There is deep frustration: when Kaylie discovers that her mother has secretly resumed drinking after pretending to quit, she finds herself too weak to ‘do some anger work’ … at her therapist’s office. There’s also great daughterly love for James Jones, as his daughter sometimes insists on referring to him, and palpable pride in his achievements.”

Link to New York Times review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/books/31maslin.html?ref=books

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu 

Tags: