Experiments in Autobiofiction

Whicher, Donna
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
A Very Special Baby Book on a white cover silky to the eye, padded plastic to the fingers. The spine cracks open like any unread book. First year: Paste Photo Here. Born at midnight, thirty inches, nine pounds, eight ounces. Second year: Paste Photo Here. Third Year: Paste Photo Here. Likes bananas and hates peas. Very scared of mimes. Fourth… Fifth… Sixth Year: Paste Photo Here. Nightmare about miniature skeleton army marching in pairs. Tiger on stilts crayon drawing. Seventh Year: Paste Photo Here. I think you won first place in the science fair in second grade. (That was number five.) Enclosed note: Here's the book you asked for, sorry there isn't more. One day when you have your own kids you'll understand. With the first one, you take hundreds of pictures and write down everything because it’s new to you. The same with second. You slow down with the third, and by the fourth and fifth, you've seen it all already. I tried to fill in what I could remember but I guess I just blocked those years out. Sorry, Mom. If a picture is worth a thousand words, no picture must be worth a thousand more. A baby book, by definition, must grow up. It’s nurtured by words and images; the virgin pages need to be marked they are to become anything. What to do with fifty blank pages?
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