INTERROGATING MEMORY UPDATES!
Calling an audible. Here is the audio “teaser trailer” for my book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own:
Now that the 2022 midterm elections are (mostly) over, I will return to recording 11 “episodes” of me reading Interrogating Memory on Spotify. There will be a nominal fee for each episode – or the entire shebang – which I will announce.
Award-nominated. Interrogating Memory is under serious consideration for the 2023 Athenaeum of Philadelphia Literary Award! The short list will be announced early in 2023. In the meantime, it is on their current Bookshelf.
Local events. On September 15, I participated in Hummingbird Books’ first Local Author Fair. The event was a success, in large part because of the deep literary talent pool in the Boston area.
WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE?
The purposes of this website are…
2022 ELECTION SUMMARY (As of 11:08 pm EST, November 23, 2022)
US House: Republicans have won the 218 seats necessary for the majority in the 2023-24 Congress.
Democrats have won 213 seats, and Republicans have won 221 seats; Republicans lead narrowly in California’s 13th district (593 votes; 96% counted). Republicans will thus hold 221 or 222 seats, a net gain of eight or nine seats relative to the 2020 election results.
US Senate: Democrats have won the 50 seats necessary for the majority in the 2023-24 Congress.
Republican Lisa Murkowski won reelection in Alaska (53% to 47%), so the only Senate race still uncalled is in Georgia. Neither Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock (49.4%) nor Republican Herschel Walker (48.5%) received a majority on Election Day, so a runoff election will be held on December 6, 2022. This runoff will determine whether Democrats have 50 or 51 seats, which is either no change or a net gain of one seat.
Governors: Democrats net gain two governor’s mansions for their highest total – 24 – since 2010.
My story-telling style—call it “annotated meandering”—inspired this site’s name.
I do always get to the point, though…eventually.
Just bear with me.
WHO AM I?
Click here to learn about Matt – or is it Dr. Noir?
WHAT KIND OF STORIES DO I TELL HERE?
Broadly speaking, I write essays – tell stories – about topics in three areas:
- My own life (see below)
- American politics – including calls for bipartisanship and mutual respect
- Popular culture – primarily film/television and music
I write about other topics as well, including our lives during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball, epidemiology and public health, true crime and anything else about which I can tell a good story.
I ALSO WRITE BOOKS!
Far more often than I had expected, I tell stories from my own life, using what I call “contextualized introspection.” Along those lines, I am determining the best way to publish my first book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own.
While I ponder, you may purchase a copy as a PDF here.
Interrogating Memory began as an attempt to turn an essay about why I love film noir into a full-length book. At the same time, I was undergoing genetic testing, exploring my own personal “origin story” and using tools like Ancestry and Newspapers to help me contextualize my “journey” within a larger American immigrant story. I coined the term “interrogating memory” to describe this process – and one of the first things I learned was that the death of my paternal great-grandfather David Louis Berger made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer more than 100 years ago.
I recently received my first – wholly unsolicited – review, and I could not be more grateful and humbled. David Mayhew wrote: “Greatly have I enjoyed your new book, which kept me glued! It all flows well. Film noir is a real fetching theme! What an expert and connoisseur you are!” Other writers such as Larry Harnisch (“It’s a good one!”) and Morgan Richter (“I am enjoying it immensely.”) have also praised it.
I have now begun to write my second book, tentatively titled Meet Me at the Counter: A Life in Diners. Indeed, the photograph at the top of the page shows the sorely-missed ValeRio diner, which once sat on Route 23 in Phoenixville, PA, at the intersection with Route 113 North. It features prominently in a number of posts – such as those having to do with constructive dialogue and healthy skepticism.
At least…that was what I began to write until I inadvertently stumbled upon the January 1909 statutory rape trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns – who just happened to be the first wife of my wife Nell’s paternal grandfather. I now plan to write a book about this trial, grounding it in both the aftermath of the Civil War (tens of thousands of dead fathers, husbands, sons and brothers) and the distinctive social mores – including nativism, misogyny, and Congregationalist (read: Calvinist) attitudes toward poverty and crime – of Connecticut at the time.
WHAT ELSE WILL YOU FIND HERE?
WHAT DO I ASK FROM READERS?
Just continue to bear with me, while inviting others to do the same. I am grateful to everyone who clicks “Like” and comments in a respectful way: it truly is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @drnoir33.
Please also check out my Interrogating Memory book. I think you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Then keep an eye out for new essays and my upcoming The Burns Woman and Life in Diners books.
And if you enjoy what you read here, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation.
HOW CAN YOU CONTACT ME?
I want to hear from you!
Please click here to offer your thoughts, ask me questions – or just say Hello!