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The Trouble with Being Born, The Trouble with Being Born, 1573661414, 1-57366-141-4, 978-1-57366-141-6, 9781573661416, , , The Trouble with Being Born, 1573668109, 1-57366-810-9, 978-1-57366-810-1, 9781573668101,

The Trouble with Being Born
A Novel
by Jeffrey DeShell

Quality Paper
2007. 208 pp.
Price:  $17.95 t
E Book
2009. 208 pp.
Price:  $9.95 t

Novel, memoir, and anti-memoir, The Trouble with Being Born depicts the lives of Frances and Joe, husband and wife. Told in their own alternating voices, they recall their lives, separately and together, and the divergent trajectories of their origins and aspirations.
Frances's story moves in reverse: beginning with her dementia in old age, her narrative moves backwards into lucidity, through a cruel and loveless marriage, the birth of her son Jeffrey, and into a childhood that she recalls fondly as a time of innocence and belonging.
Joe's memories begin in childhood, a bewildered boy struggling with poverty, racism, and isolation, and we watch him grow into a manhood fraught with wrong turns, rage, betrayals, and disappointment, caring in the end for the woman he has long mistreated.
The Trouble with Being Born is a stark meditation on memory and the struggle–both necessary and impossible–to remember.

Jeffrey DeShell is the author of the novels In Heaven Everything is Fine, S & M, and Peter: An (A)Historical Romance.

The Trouble with Being Born evokes the constricted egotism and materialistic desperation of America’s mid-century. The DeShell family seems incomprehensible, spilling out everywhere as romantic fragments, bourgeois myths, the bric-a-brac of blocked transcendence and dogged calculations. I emerged from the reading with a powerful sense of words struggling, like the characters themselves, to organize contradictions into a life.”
—R. M. Berry

“In his fourth book, Jeffrey DeShell takes on the challenge of writing from inside those familiar strangers whose lives led to his own: his parents. The elegant formal structure of The Trouble with Being Born organizes a thoughtful, heartfelt, and extraordinarily visual (indeed, sensual) querying of histories, subjectivities, and the narrative shapes we give to our lives.”
—Laura Mullen

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