I’ve just finished reading a new collection of essays by Kim Dana Kupperman titled I Just Lately Started Buying Wings. Even if essays aren’t your normal chosen reading, it’s worth picking up this book to experience Kupperman’s perspective on life and recent world history, as well as her poetic language.
Also, her life makes for pretty darn interesting reading.
“Kupperman describes her taut, startling, and evocative essays as missives, and they are, indeed, like letters from and to her past selves. But her measured and mesmerizing true stories about her painfully fractured childhood feel as though they were ripped from the pages of pulp fiction. As Kupperman revisits her mother’s suicide, her drug-addicted half-brother’s death, and the overwhelming yet ultimately obfuscating stack of court papers documenting her divorced parents’ marathon custody battles, Kupperman is left with more mysteries than answers. Her impressionistic accounts of her sojourn in France and her journey in pursuit of her roots in Russia are laced with haunting musings on Chernobyl, the openings and obstacles of language, and the discovery that the past she sought never existed. Kupperman’s legacy of lies, secrets, delusions, and suffering affected her relationships, led her to work in a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and inspired her to channel her complex experiences and interpretations into dispatches of awe, tenacity, and compassion. Winner of the Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, Kupperman’s piercing first book is beyond category. –Donna Seaman”