I just turned the last page on Tom Grimes’ beautiful memoir, Mentor.
In a blurb on the back of the book, author Abraham Vergehese, writes, “A must read for people who write and for every reader who has wondered about the mysterious alchemy that produces a writer.” This quote sums up the strength of Mentor. The premise of this story is the relationship that develops between an aspiring young writer and his distinguished mentor, Frank Conroy, author of the classic memoir Stop-Time. Indeed, Mentor, does a splendid job of covering this friendship. At is core however, this is the story of a man who pushed right up to line of great success without managing to cross it. The book chronicles a man’s struggle to follow his passion despite its many pitfalls. Tom Grimes takes his readers inside a writer’s life. A life he describes, as irrational.
“True, elation sometimes makes its way from a writer’s fingertips to his or her heart and, for a moment, the writer believes that he or she has fashioned a chain of perfectly conjoined words. But the feeling recedes. Then the sublime seems trite, the harmonious dissonant, and perfection imperfect. Writing’s daily difficulties humble a writer; few writers earn a living from their work; fewer still receive accolades; and, at best, two dozen a century are remembered.”
He suspects the reason writer’s write is a naïve but persistence hope for transcendence through art. I believe, with this memoir, Grimes has accomplished his ultimate goal.
What great books have you read lately?