Review: I Just Lately Started Buying Wings
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Kim Dana Kupperman’s essays plumb the emotional and spiritual depths of a transitory life. Her episodic “missives” cover territory from the chaos of a frenetic childhood to love affairs, failed and otherwise, to the Chernobyl nuclear accident, to an ocean-crossing search for her Eastern European roots. In confident, lyrical prose, Kupperman leads the reader through a winding gallery—a collection of still lifes and portraits, landscapes of loneliness and love.
I’m not a huge fan of short story or personal essay collections because I like books with well developed characters and plots and I didn’t think short stories and essays could accomplish that. But in my quest to try new things and my love for nonfiction, I decided to give this book a shot. And boy am I glad I did.
I Just Lately Started Buying Wings was an exceptionally well written collection of personal essays that reveals her personal struggles and defines what life encompasses. Surprisingly enough, this book actually took me some time to get through it. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy the book, but because I wanted to fully absorb the essence and message behind each essay before moving on to the next. As with all collections, there were some essay that I loved more than others, but overall the collection of essays was amazing and one that I would highly recommend.
Each essay carried its own weight and pulled at your emotions differently. Kupperman has a way with words and she has a great ability to make the readers see the emotions behind them as well as force the readers to use their senses. At times I felt like I could hear the sounds she was hearing as well as feel the things she was touching. There was something about her writing that made me feel she was writing with a distant and detach voice at times, as if she was a third party looking in on the tragedy when in fact she was experiencing the tragedy first hand.
The personal essays in I Just Lately Started Buying Wings were not always cheery and bright and many of them drew tears from my eyes, but they’re also essays that stayed with me after I finished reading them. They were thought provoking and insightful. If you’re a fan of non-fiction or if you’re looking to read something different, I would recommend this book.