My Accidental Past
Posted by Literary Titan
His Mother’s Son: Memoirs of an Accidental Man shares your story about breaking away from a dysfunctional family and building the life you wanted outside of their expectations. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This central theme actually derives from the primary theme of the book, which is the conflicted relationship I had with my mother. The final resolution of this relationship took sixty years, but in the meantime I did escape from my accidental past and find an authentic life. This constructive effort was motivated not just by my fractured maternal bond, but by the subsequent experience of isolation from family, friends, school, church, and society. Parental expectations evolved and were expressed over time, which only fueled a rebellious response that was already part of my initial impulse.
Work on the manuscript that began as an exercise in self-discovery and eventually became a first draft started not long after the death of my mother. Despite decades spent salvaging a new life from the ruins of my childhood, no profound emotional/psychological resolution of this estranged relationship had been achieved. I determined to focus my energy on this potential solution to the primary problem of my life. Indeed, the very process of writing was the means to comprehend and forgive both my mother and myself, to quit the past and move on.
Upon completing the text I realized profound and positive results. During the two years it had taken, I came to see the themes I had experienced as personal were in fact universal. I also saw my lifelong quest for understanding as a selfish pursuit for which I wanted to compensate. That’s why I decided to publish it.
I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
The pathological relationship between my mother and myself was certainly the most difficult topic to write about. There can be no avoiding even the most painful experiences, and without the truth the work is not only pointless but counterproductive. I would hasten to add, however, that this exposition constituted the most critical and valuable aspect of the entire exercise, and was the crux in yielding a real resolution to this conflict. It taught me that truth is the path to forgiveness.
What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?
Good advice is plentiful, especially in works of literature, philosophy, and autobiographies. I have benefitted from such counsel as often as I have pursued it. But it is also available in everyday life to the extent we are willing to listen and heed it. My father once told me that I would find someone on a soapbox on every street corner telling me their view of the world and what I should do. He added that if I didn’t figure it out for myself, I would only have their options to choose from. Time has confirmed the worth of this observation.
What is one thing readers take away from your story?
Perhaps the most common comment about the story is that it shows how we can change a life determined by chance circumstances into a life shaped by our conscious responses.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on April 9, 2023, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, His Mother's Son: Memoirs of an Accidental Man, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, Paul Anthony, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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