Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cut, by Patricia McCormick 

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
- Ernest Hemingway

I rediscovered a favorite book of mine. It's not a pleasant book to read. But it's powerful, and it's true. Even though it's fiction, it's true.

Cassie's voice has been scared away. She doesn't speak. She cuts. She can express her pain through cutting. That's all she can say. Not knowing what else to do, her parents send her to an in-patient psych hospital.
I checked to make sure no one was around. Sure, I wanted to say. Sure. I willed myself to speak, but nothing happened. I sent commands from my brain to my mouth. Nothing. I wondered in a person's voice muscles can forget how to work if they're not used for a long time.
I feel bad giving the silent treatment to someone who weighs only 92 pounds and has to wear a baseball cap to cover up a bald spot.
"Do you really want us to ignore you?" There's nothing mean about the way Tara says this; there's nothing in her voice expect curiosity.
The book it so true it hurts. That's why it isn't a pleasant read. It's not each reading. It's a short book - a fast reader could get though it in a single day, if she read cover to cover and didn't need to give her psyche a break. It isn't gory. Sure, blood is mentioned, but it's minimal. What's difficult is the raw pain of a girl who resorts to self injury. And it's worse if you can identify, even though friends who have self-injured.

I lent my copy to a fried who needed it. Maybe I'll buy another copy. There are inexpensive used ones on Amazon.

Since I'm on the subject, if anyone wants to read more about SI, specifically cutting, try:
This one's on my list to "books to read": Sharp Objects: a Novel, by Gillian Flynn. I don't usually like mysteries, but the main character is a recovered cutter, and I'm really interested in how the author will play that. I've never seen a book in which the protagonist is a cutter that wasn't directly about his / her cutting.

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