When I linked my post on favorite tear-jerkers onto Facebook, I asked the group at large what their favorite tear-jerkers were, and I enjoyed those comments so much I thought I should incorporate them into a tear-jerkers post number two.
You know you're going to get great responses when you have so many friends who are smart writers and smart readers.
To start things off, I said:
"First that came to mind for me was when we were in the car on an hour drive and I was weeping uncontrollably, reading the end of Of Mice And Men. I don't think that story was what taught me how luxurious sadness can be, but it sure reinforced it."
Right away, writer Evelyn Sharenov weighed in with: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. In fact, if you click into her webpage, you'll see that she has it listed there first under her favorite books. Evelyn is also nonfiction editor of Thumbnail Magazine.
My Mom said:
"I remember that day, Gi.. we were on our way to Northridge, just the two of us, to go with Kat and Heather to a fancy dinner.. Some women's charity event, I think.. and you were just dissolving in the seat next to me... for me, hmm.. there have been many over the years.. I remember a pretty good cry reading Sophie's Choice.. all you kids were little and I recall being obsessed with the horrible concept.. that was during a period when I read many many books about WW II... probably cried a lot..."
Monica Drake (who's best known for Clown Girl) said:
"Of Mice and Men never quits being absolutely heart breaking. Another is The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow."
Evelyn Sharenov jumped in again:
"Gigi - I read your blog entry - I reacted the same way to Garth Stein's Racing In The Rain (I have a shelf of books about dogs that I refuse to read because I know I'll be reduced to tears at the end - Merle's Door is one of those as well); Sophie's Choice comes in my top five tear-jerkers."
Fellow Dangerous Writer Brad Rosen said:
"I also cast my vote for Of Mice and Men. A haunting sadness. Also The Prettiest Girl in Town by Burkowski comes to mind. You can feel his personal pain through his prose."
of mice and men movie poster
My aunt Kathy wrote:
"Oh.. Yes.. I had forgotten the impact Of Mice & Men had on me.... and about the same age.. when I was about 12-13... I read The Diary of Anne Frank and that was HUGE for me. as well.... I am such a wimp that just about anything that portrays true human cruelty towards any weaker creature or person just dissolves me... then I also cry at happy triumphant stories of overcoming adversity etc.. so I'll pretty much cry at anything!!"
One last side note: I hadn't remembered where we were going that night that I finished Of Mice and Men - I was too deep in the book to remember much about my surroundings - but sounds from my mom's post like it was the night we went to a dinner for the National Organization for Women. Same night I accidentally on purpose bumped into speaker Barbra Streisand so that we could brush shoulders in the bathroom...