Monday, October 23, 2017

The Queen of Oversharing

Joyce Maynard was my year at another highschool in NH. I remembered everyone then, and knew kids from all over the state through camps, speech competitions, and St Paul's ASP program. I was vaguely surprised when her first book came out that I had never heard of her. I later learned that my friends from Oyster River very much knew her. (As a Phillip's Exeter student, Joyce would not have been eligible for ASP.) One rather hinted that she was not impressed.

A college girlfriend handed me Maynard's Looking Back when it came out in 1973. She must have mentioned pretty quickly that this girl was living with J D Salinger, as our relationship was just about at an end and we wouldn't have discussed it after. Where Anne had learned this extra bit of gossip I didn't know.  I decided that was an urban legend when Maynard resurfaced in the 80's - resurfaced in terms of NH, anyway - and nothing was ever mentioned about that.  It turned out to be true, as I only learned much later.

I loved, loved, loved the first few chapters of Looking Back, but never finished it. I don't remember why. When the Concord Monitor focus came to her as local-girl-does-good, she wrote about friends, girl issues, life, and I always had the same response.  Intrigued and admiring at first, never finishing, even a short essay.  I decided there was something infuriating about her, but didn't care enough to figure out why.

All the later adventures and scandals I never knew until today.

She's still at it, and I think the essay in the Atlantic, the Queen of Oversharing, captures it all pretty well.

1 comment:

james said...

Sometimes there are upsides to being out of the cultural mainstream.