Autofiction by Grant Maierhofer
University of Alabama Press/FC2, September 2022
Shame by Grant Maierhofer is a daring exploration of the potential and limits of memory and self. Here we meet the author at various points within his life then, now, and in the future, as he investigates the sense of shame that haunts the course of his days. The real and unreal, fact and fiction, blur together in a Kaufmanesque sequence of overlapping narratives about who we really are, how we cope with regret, and the repetitions of our behavior. Through lists, fragments, recollections, and rants, the story of a son’s vexing grief for his father emerges. A sober addict trying to figure out how to navigate pleasure, diversion, and escape. A father trying to figure out marriage, children, maturity, and responsibility. A confused observer in a world constantly torn apart by media, politics, and aggression. A meditation on the nature of art, and art’s place in contemporary life.