Zen for Ten 29: “The Truth About Me”

Today on the Storytelling and Sound series, in which musical and verbal storytelling come together, I’m delighted to feature the work of my colleague and friend Louise Marburg. Louise and I met at the 2013 Sewanee Writers’ Conference and were back in workshop together this past summer at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops.

Louise’s debut story collection, The Truth About Me, was released earlier this month by WTAW Press. When my copy of the collection arrived, I devoured it in less than twenty-four hours. The stories are extraordinary: wise and incisive, the characters drawn vividly and with great sensitivity, every piece in the collection infused with a wonderfully wry and authentic narrative voice. Each piece is told with subtlety, grace, and great power, and shows an enviable depth of empathy and human connection.

In today’s video, I’m reading the beginning of the title story, “The Truth About Me.” Consider this a teaser to encourage you to get the collection and check out the rest of the story, and its companions!

I’ve paired the writing with two short selections by Baroque-era composer J. S. Bach: the two-part Inventions in F and C minor, respectively. I chose this music because the mood of it suited the story, and also because the story itself – as with many in Louise’s collection – is about dialogue between people as they learn about and connect with one another. The musical structure of the Bach parallels that dialogue. In the two-part Inventions, the pianist’s right and left hands work independently of each other. You can pull out the tune played by each hand, and hear how each tune works by itself and sounds like a coherent melody. Then, when you put the parts together, they trade melodies back and forth and intertwine with one another just as two voices do in a conversation.

Enjoy the video, and be sure to stop by Louise’s website and learn more about her. See you next time!

About the Writer:

Louise Marburg is a graduate of the MFA program in Fiction at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her work has appeared in The Louisville Review, Folio, Carolina Quarterly, Day One, The Pinch, and others, and in the Lascaux Prize Anthology. She has been a contributor at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She lives with her husband, the painter Charles Marburg, in New York City. Her new collection of stories, The Truth About Me, was recently published by WTAW Press. Find her at louisemarburg.com


Writers! Would you like to contribute your work for the Storytelling and Sound series? (You provide the words, I provide the live reading and the music.) Email me at kris@krisfaatz.com for info.

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Storytelling and Sound fans: if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to check out music-inspired To Love A Stranger!


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