Book Title: My Dead Pets Are Interesting
Author: Lenore Zion
Type of Book: Non-fiction, memoir, humor
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because my dead pets are also interesting, and because this is probably my most self-indulgent discussion to date.
Availability: Published by The Nervous Breakdown Books in 2011, you can get a copy here:
Comments: When I finished reading Stupid Children by Lenore Zion, I knew I’d need to read everything she’d ever written. She writes neurosis so well that it was alarming how well she pulled it off. Now after reading My Dead Pets Are Interesting, it’s clear Zion is writing from a place of experience. I’m pretty calm and well-adjusted these days, or at least I look that way. A lot of the time I play up my quirks as I write, but it’s undeniable that as a younger woman I was a complete basket case and that even now I’m a bit more nervous and loopy than the average woman. I sit on the OCD spectrum (contamination and cleanliness and I’m certain Mr. OTC will die in a car crash if I don’t give him a goodnight kiss every night before bed), am depressive and have a sleep issues that would kill you if you had them. I’m not exaggerating. On the upside, pictures I’ve posted online about my soul-crushing inability to sleep have been used in articles about insomnia, so I’ve got that going for me. That’s how I know I’m better now – I can see the upside from time to time. Plus when you get older the shit that tired you when you were a kid no longer has the power because you’ve endured it long enough and now know it’s just one of many potential personality types and that neurotics are far thicker on the ground than anyone realizes when they are in their twenties.
Zion herself is a neurotic, and engages in a lot of the same behaviors I engaged in when I was younger, behaviors that seem pathological and inexplicable to the balanced person, but make utter sense to those of us who have the albatross of obsessive anxiety hanging from our necks like… well, like an albatross. I get what she has to say and find the humor in how she relates her mild hysteria to her readers. For those of us who are fellow travelers in neurosis, there is a truth and compassion in Zion’s writing that reminds us that we are both not alone in our affliction and that, in retrospect, almost everything is funny if you look at it the right way.