Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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159 words
SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

A Vision of Neon
by Angela M. Graziano

Reviewed by R. A. Rycraft

Serving House Books (August 2012)

Cover of A Vision of Neon by Angela M. Graziano

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Angela M. Graziano’s provocative, beautifully written and gut wrenching memoir illuminates the intensely complicated consequences of one young woman’s mental illness and eventual suicide on those “normal” folk who surrounded and loved her—parents, sibling, friends, and, most particularly, her Friend Forever, Angie. Haunted by the loss and desperate to “find meaning in moments that seemed...otherwise meaningless,” Graziano visited a therapist, an experience that, combined with her proven ability as an engaging storyteller, suggested the impressionistic style and structure of the memoir, mimicking, through the fast-paced juxtaposition of past and present tense, the sense of mining memory with a therapist and the subsequent and rapid resurfacing of repressed memories, re-experienced in real time: “At some point, when I was not looking, my memories—my life—transformed into a series of scenes.” The result? A story, mesmerizing from beginning to end. Unforgettable.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury