Here’s my second homework essay for this semester’s reading class. It covers the second book we read, Leslie Pietrzyk’s This Angel On My Chest. Background on the book: just before Pietrzyk’s first book, Pears On A Willow Tree, was published, her husband suddenly died at the age of 37/38. Eighteen years later, Pietrzyk publishes her third book, This Angel On My Chest, which is a collection of short stories all centering around dealing with the sudden death of a young husband.
In my homework essay, I attempt to address these two ideas:
- The main theme of this book isn’t so much the death of her husband but rather it’s The Writer who must tell The Truth to her readers.
- There’s a genuine sense that Pietrzyk means to use her tragic story as a means of blocking criticism of her work as art. (For example, on page 121: “no one will challenge a story that’s tragic.”)
I’m still not convinced that I successfully argued these two points, hence my indecision about posting this essay. It wasn’t until I got my instructor’s feedback that I felt more comfortable sharing this. Because, honestly, I hated this book. It’s repetitive, incredibly tedious, very defensive about its existence, and I really felt like she was trying to exploit her own personal tragedy in a very explicit way just to get a book published.