You pick up a new novel or memoir,
and it seems everyone’s shaking
their family tree to find a movie
star relative back in the day;
a general, a cousin thrown in jail
for being part of some resistance
movement in a distant land. Is there
a grand-aunt or grandmother who was
a sex slave during the war, who hid
a runaway soldier that turned into
the paterfamilias? Who leaped out
a window without any clothes, straight
from the bed of whose wife? And you, what
story do you have that’s worth telling?

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