All posts tagged: Thrity Umrigar

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Books Don’t Make Me Cry, But These Two Did

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) Although I read voraciously, books seldom make me cry. I cry easily over movies, but somehow text does not elicit the rush of emotion I require for tears. So when a book does make me cry, I remember it. I don’t have the arrogance to claim that a book that makes me cry must be a great book; obviously, it could simply be triggering something emotional inside me. However, this week’s frontlist title truly is a great book, and I can tell you so because it recently won the 2014 PEN/Ackerley Prize, a British award for memoir and autobiography. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala is the kind of searing story that breaks through all previous notions of what a memoir of grief should be. Deraniyagala, an Oxbridge-educated economist, lost her family — husband, two sons, and parents — in the 2004 Sri Lankan tsunami. She is honest from the get-go, detailing the sheer indignity of being pantless in the middle of disaster, but it was not her on-the-scene reportage that brought on my …