Reading Lily King’s EUPHORIA and watching Ken Burn’s ‘Hemingway’ feels like my brain has been emptied into the large silver strainer I use for washing strawberries, jiggling organic matter beneath faucet spray, jiggling, jiggling some more.

About as Euphoric as Hugo gets.

For me, the theme of survival dominates both pieces. In EUPHORIA: New Guinea, surviving its brutal infections (basically just riding them out) and aggressive tribe vs. tribe action, and heartbreaking tribe within tribe customs. In ‘Hemingway’, I marvel over the dramatic passages Ken Burns throws us from the short stories and novels, and over the fact that Papa survived as long as he did. Stubborness as Life’s elixir?

Lily King writes the way some singers (Stevie Wonder, Diana Krall) make singing sound effortless. Her powers create sink-into-skin stories that haunt for days +.

Like Hemingway.

And during this weird, stress-inducing time of Covid19, so much of EUPHORIA and the Hemingway doc is, to me, relevant and terrifying and riveting and I’ve got to go now as the next Hemingway episode has dropped and I don’t want to be late to this party–or later than usual.

Happy reading. Happy watching. Happy survival. Please?

Yours in healing properties in a pandemic,


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
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