When Faith Adiele realizes that she’s forgotten the sound of her late grandmother’s voice, she impulsively decides to make a film. The process reveals surprises like her mummi had a thick Finnish accent and blamed her terminal cancer on “all the things I never said, moving inside me.” Set against the backdrop of the Watergate hearings, Her Voice: Hänen Ääensä: A Hybrid Memoir weaves together diary entries, home movies, ichthyology, Nordic and Pacific Northwest mythologies, and YouTube language lessons to examine the legacies of trauma, class, politics, and silence on women’s creative lives.
Her Voice leaps playfully and poignantly across time, memory, and history, as well as between American pop-culture and multi-ethnic/racial experiences that reveal America as always hybrid. Knitting together gorgeous shards of written memoir and essayistic musings with playwriting’s realistic dialog and fabulist DIY-collaged illustrations, Adiele’s investigation of almost-forgotten voices and images re-embodies and reminds us of what matters.
When experienced together with Voice/Over: A Memoir Breakout in 7 Movies (released simultaneously as an innovative “breakout” performative, a supplemental yet stand-alone praxis that pushes the vision of Her Voice and the memoir genre over the brink ) the two books offer an innovative approach that goes beyond traditional memoir’s conventions. In an America no longer satisfied with merely privileged authorized written texts, Adiele shows us that culture, like memoir, can be hybrid, inclusive, and multiple, and yes, can be (and is always) both personal and political.
About the Author
Published by Texas Review Press