Some knots help–keeping your shoes on, tethering the dingy to the dock. Some are downright delicious, like garlic knots. Then there are the majorly irksome, like hair knots or infernal earpod wires. This June, we’re looking at Gordian knots–and the ingenious work-arounds that free us from those seemingly impossible snarls.
This week in particular, we’re focusing on one of the most impossible and perplexing snarls of all–love. Danielle Trussoni, writing as her alter ego, Dani Tru, shares some excerpts from True Romantic, a weekly column featured in The Rumpus. For the full True Romantic story, visit Dani Tru’s column here.
Why love, why me, and why now?
Not so very long ago, I would never have written about love, and especially my own love life. In my twenties, I looked down my nose at what I called ‘relationship stories.’ I don’t know why I was such a snob about these kinds of stories, but I hated them. They made me cringe. And the fact that mostly women were writing them—were in fact expected to write them—made me cringe even more. I didn’t want to be one of those intense young women composing stories about relationships and break-ups and eating disorders and sexual identity. There was nothing wrong with these stories, of course, and looking back now, I see that these women were probably the more authentic writers. But back then, I didn’t want to be categorized that way. And I didn’t ever want to expose myself—not my feelings or my failures in love and life—the way they did. Something about their fearlessness scared me.
So I didn’t write about love. I wrote about war, which suited me better. My first book was a book about my father, who was a tunnel rat in Vietnam. My dad came back from Vietnam with PTSD, and his trauma from the war cast a shadow over my childhood. You could say that this book was about love—the love of a daughter for her damaged father—but it was not about love in the way the True Romantic column is about love. My first book was not about me, about my vulnerabilities or my failings. I had found a way to use my father to deflect, to avoid the difficulty of looking intently at myself. I didn’t put myself on the line to write that book. I wasn’t anywhere near the line.
So what’s changed? Me, I guess.
See more of Trussoni’s Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog
~~~Danielle Trussoni is the author of four books: Falling Through the Earth (2006), Angelology (2010), Angelopolis (2013) and the forthcoming memoir The Fortress (2016). In addition to being published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Tin House, her writings have been widely anthologized.
Falling Through the Earth, a memoir about her relationship with her father, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2006. Falling Through the Earth was recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, Elle Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for April 2006 and was chosen as a Book Sense Pick for March 2006. Her novels Angelology and Angelopolis were New York Times Bestsellers and have been translated into thirty-two languages. You can learn more about Danielle at www.danielletrussoni.com and follow her on Twitter @DaniTrussoni