Several years ago a young man asked me what it takes to write a memoir. “Wait for something bad to happen,” I told him. Then, by way of encouragement, I added, “Don’t worry. It will.” This was more curse, I see now, than helpful writerly advice. In my defence, I had so-called misery memoirs on the brain, probably because I had just finished one of my own. Let’s face it, nowadays, “something bad”—my son’s autism, in my case—is the foundation most memoirs are built on.
Maybe that is why Antanas Sileika’s decision to flip the script in The Barefoot Bingo Caller feels, at once, risky and refreshing. Spoiler alert: nothing really bad happens here, a fact Sileika compensates for with a breezy, anecdotal style. His new memoir starts out lighthearted and largely remains that way. While Sileika is self-deprecating, he does not demonstrate much of a dark side in the book. As a kid, he was, by his own assessment...
To read this article, you must buy the issue or have LRC Web Full-Text Access.
If you already have Web Full-Text Access to Literary Review of Canada content, please log in with one of the two options below.
If not, sign up today!
- Not already an LRC subscriber? Subscribe today, and be sure to select either the “DIGITAL” or “PRINT and DIGITAL” option. You’ll then be entitled to read this — and other magazine content from past and current issues — in full! (Note: Web Full-Text Access will take effect the following business day.)
- Already a subscriber to the LRC‘s Print edition, but haven’t yet signed up for Web Full-Text Access? Contact us and we’ll reply right away with instructions on how to upgrade your existing subscription.
Log In Option 1
Log In Option 2
* Subscribers who have chosen to receive both the LRC‘s print and digital editions can find their subscriber number in the address area of any recent printed copy cover, above their name; it is six digits long, immediately following “LRC.”