Show Me Your Teeth

No picture today folks. Sorry, but this is a creative non-fiction review post, and I’m not about to put a picture of my own teeth on here. My teeth don’t bother me, but that would just be weird. Almost as weird as being naked. (P.S. I will never ever spell weird correctly on the first try. “Wierd”.

Teeth, by Alexandra D’Italia in The South Loop Review, was the writer I preyed upon for today. That’s probably the creepiest way to say I read her writing, and I’m going to comment on it, but a little creep keeps the people reading. Right? Another side note: I want to name a future child Atalya/Atalia/Italia, which is partly why I want to comment on D’Italia’s article. Please don’t steal the name, or I will blog negatively about you.

Alexandra uses the image of her mother’s decaying smoker teeth, and later her dentures, to develop a metaphor for not only her relationship with her mom, but for her mother’s life story through smoking, a quarrelsome marriage, a divorce, and then the car wreck that sends her mother to the hospital. Alexandra had such a creative and satisfying movement of three different stories: her childhood, her mother’s teeth, and her mother’s surgery at the hospital. All the stories flow like a semi-stream of consciousness in format and form a cohesiveness that signals her talent as a writer.

I thought it was also innovative how she speculates how another writer might go about telling her own life story. I have done zero research on this, but I guess reflecting the writing process in her actual writing is post-modern?, but I could be wrong. It is just a term I’d love to throw out there correctly. The ending of Alexandra D’Italia’s story also leaves off with a perfect break. Her mother, having to have taken her teeth out, is in surgery and there they “would wait, [her] mother’s false teeth sitting in the palm of [her] hand.”

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