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Madder : a memoir in weeds

af Marco Wilkinson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1111,738,046 (4)1
Madder, matter, mater--a weed, a state of mind, a material, a meaning, a mother. Essayist and horticulturist Marco Wilkinson searches for the roots of his own selfhood among family myths and memories. "My life, these weeds." Marco Wilkinson uses his deep knowledge of undervalued plants, mainly weeds--invisible yet ubiquitous, unwanted yet abundant, out-of-place yet flourishing--as both structure and metaphor in these intimate vignettes. Madder combines poetic meditations on nature, immigration, queer sensuality, and willful forgetting with recollections of Wilkinson's Rhode Island childhood and glimpses of his maternal family's life in Uruguay. The son of a fierce, hard-working mother who tried to erase even the memory of his absent father from their lives, Wilkinson investigates his heritage with a mixture of anger and empathy as he wrestles with the ambiguity of his own history. Using a verdant iconography rich with wordplay and symbolism, Wilkinson offers a mesmerizing portrait of cultivating belonging in an uprooted world.… (mere)
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Real Rating: 3.75* of five, rounded up because it's so lovely

The Publisher Says: Madder, matter, mater—a weed, a state of mind, a material, a meaning, a mother. Poet and horticulturist Marco Wilkinson searches for the roots of myths and memories among plant families and family trees.

"My life, these weeds." Marco Wilkinson's intimate vignettes of intergenerational migration, queer sexuality, and willful forgetting use the language of plants as both structure and metaphor—particularly weeds: invisible yet ubiquitous, unwanted yet abundant, out-of-place yet flourishing. Madder combines meditations on nature with memories of Wilkinson's Rhode Island childhood and glimpses of his maternal family's life in Uruguay. The son of a fierce immigrant mother who tried to erase his absent father from their lives, Wilkinson investigates his heritage with a mixture of anger and empathy as he wrestles with the ambiguity of the past. Using a verdant iconography rich with wordplay and symbolism, Wilkinson offers a mesmerizing portrait of finding belonging in an uprooted world.

I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA EDELWEISS+. THANK YOU.

My Review
: It's one of the wonderful things about reading memoirs that, as we voyeuristically peer into the writer's personal life, we also learn, experience anew or for the first time, that special glory of Life that Author Wilkinson describes thus: "Finally the freedom of being, not being seen." It's a genuine pleasure that the genre has in greater abundance than most all the books I read in so many other genres. Marco has led a really surprising life, son of a single Uruguayan mother whose character clearly formed his observant, detail-oriented self as well as the art he can't help but produce.

This is a seriously poetic tale of being queer (as we now say) among people who aren't supportive of you. This is a sad tale of being sure there's something wrong with the way the world treats you, the way it talks about you, and not being in touch with any strand of culture that supports the sense you have of yourself. This is the reason the hate-filled rejecters of life's Others want to remove the books and censor the art that includes people they don't like. If you're not one of those people, and—importantly—if you like poetry and/or poetical prose, read this wonderful story of a man coming to accept and shape his sense of himself via the metaphorical garden with its weeds that he's built of and for himself. It's a lovely trip. ( )
  richardderus | Jun 24, 2022 |
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Madder, matter, mater--a weed, a state of mind, a material, a meaning, a mother. Essayist and horticulturist Marco Wilkinson searches for the roots of his own selfhood among family myths and memories. "My life, these weeds." Marco Wilkinson uses his deep knowledge of undervalued plants, mainly weeds--invisible yet ubiquitous, unwanted yet abundant, out-of-place yet flourishing--as both structure and metaphor in these intimate vignettes. Madder combines poetic meditations on nature, immigration, queer sensuality, and willful forgetting with recollections of Wilkinson's Rhode Island childhood and glimpses of his maternal family's life in Uruguay. The son of a fierce, hard-working mother who tried to erase even the memory of his absent father from their lives, Wilkinson investigates his heritage with a mixture of anger and empathy as he wrestles with the ambiguity of his own history. Using a verdant iconography rich with wordplay and symbolism, Wilkinson offers a mesmerizing portrait of cultivating belonging in an uprooted world.

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