"Half my life ago, I killed a girl."....So begins Darin Strauss's memoir Half a Life, in which he recounts how he caused the death of a teenage girl, when he himself was still a teenager.
Novelist Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng, More than it Hurts You, and The Real McCoy will be reading and speaking.
Half a Life was also featured on NPR's radio program This American Life, so you can listen to an short audio version of the story.
It explores issues of life-changing mistakes, guilt, regret, forgiveness, memory and personal responsibility. It's an intense novel that really captures the impact of trauma on an individual's life and identity.
You must attend the event and write a 1-2 (MAXIMUM OF 2) page reaction paper that:
1. describes the event and your reactions to it from the perspective of abnormal psychology
2. Describe Darin's story as he tells it, the nature of the trauma and how it impacted him. While I don't expect you to do outside research or quote the book, I am looking for this reaction paper to involve some kind of academic reflection, not just a 1-2 page diary entry of how sad the story made you--make sense?
3. Also, include ONE piece from the Q&A section.
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“Half a Life“ is a book about an incident that ended tragically, not for its writer Darin Strauss, but for a girl on the bicycle whose life ended when she found herself in front of Darin’s rushing car. In this book he tries to describe the event in question with every possible detail he can remember, and also the emotions he was going through and how this incident changed his life completely.
Just a month away from his graduation, Darin and his friends were going on a golf course in Darin’s dad’s car. However this is not how the book starts. The opening line: “Half my life ago, I killed a girl”, tells us a lot, but as we will realize later, it doesn’t tells us everything. The girl, Celine Zilke, a sixteen year old from his school, stumbled suddenly in front of his car and he hit her. He was trying to brake but there was not enough time nor space to stop the car, in fact there is nothing a young inexperienced driver could do to avoid this tragic accident. Although the girl was alive at the moment she passed away later that night....
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