Popular Memoirs with Narcissistic Characters (Part #1) – Evening TV

so this is all about true stories with
narcissistic characters and these are really well-written books to do you
write a memoir you have to become a real big reader of memoirs and assist you
when you’re writing about a topic that is as heavy as this you know it’s a
heavy topic and it can be really tricky to do it takes a lot of skill to do it
to where anyone wants to read it you know and see that there are a lot more
memoirs about times that are sort of cut out of regular life like a maybe
childhood like before they ever even became a writer so that’s where a lot of
stories come from like for instance The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls she was a
journalist and but her story basically is about her parents who were yeah they
live just absolute poverty but the Pens we’re really not cystic they were
completely self-absorbed and really neglectful of their kids um a little bit
insane and also alcoholic yeah the dad was a raging alcoholic but the way that
she does it is she has this way of human you know she’s rose-colored glasses that
makes like my story a particularly tricky is because so much of it has to
do with my adult life and people are not as forgiving adults you know where we’re
gonna be forgiving of someone who has parents like this and their kid the
whole story basically it’s all about childhood is basically all about
childhood and hmm you know it’s a big big chunk of person memoirs are and also
I used to think that the people that wrote memoirs we’re the people that had
the most interesting lives or the most interesting lives to be the ones that
end up in books the test is really the case the ones up in different
are the ones that are the lies it happened writers and writing the Spanish
don’t have super fascinating lives because they’re inside writing all the
time so so that’s why I think a lot of that this stories end up coming from
either like before they started writing or well they’re away on a trip
or during a period of an addiction or an illness hey I feel like our stories are
hard to tell there’s a stigma about our stories you know and in hey it feels to
me like people are judging you like they think that you should be able to fix
things with your parents oh yeah they just they just don’t get it you know
they just don’t get it and then also another thing I find is that and I
wonder if any of you had to have this experience love warrior this book love
warrior was um a best-seller I’ve got a couple of years ago I think now that’s
not a couple years ago and you know she’s got those with Gilbert brené Brown
marianne williamson on the back you know did really really well first very first
sentence in the book I was loved I was loved I’ll be if love could prevent pain
I’d never have suffered and then this is so whole poem about her birth but her
house celebrated she was okay first I read that and that’s just painful for me
have you guys had that experience it’s just painful for me I think I don’t know
what that’s like I can’t imagine what that’s like a big pivotal moment her big
big tragic a moment where that you know it’s a turning point in the story is
she’s 25 years old and she’s got a hangover she was drinking the night
before or you know she’s been drinking a partying a lot and she has an unplanned
pregnancy and so she’s on the bathroom floor with her you know sick with the
hangover with a plant but pregnancy positive pregnancy test in her hand and
I’m sorry you guys maybe yeah maybe this is a week you’ll judge me because that I
think I’m thinking myself that is a million people story I’m sorry but I
mean how many of us you know partied a little bit when we were 20 how many of
us had you know risky you know I’m playing
you know I’m four pregnancies without shoot that too but I mean you know we’re
always so careful with it you know I mean ha that just didn’t seem like it or
a shattering thing to if I hit that I I would never have thought that I had a
book to write you know that this was her big pivotal moment and it goes on to she
doesn’t like you she gets married and has this perfect life and these three
kids and and uh she finds that basically their husband’s been cheating on her you
know throughout the marriage but even even how she handles that even how she
handles her her husband’s and faithfulness did not ring a bell at all
because she has this family she’s loved by her family and and when you’re not
loved by your family it makes how you respond to things like that quite
different in other words you put up with a lot more abuse so for our stories what
Oprah be interested in our stories you know and and you you you wonder that
augusten burroughs the wolf at the table the wolf at the table now if anyone has
a nose any met agustín Burroughs his most famous work is running with
scissors and now he’s talking about his mother and he barely touches on the
father well this one is all about the father who sounds like a purely
terrifying guy a total sociopath and I believe that in he was played by Alec
Baldwin actually and running with scissors he has a fairly small part
because that book is I mean that story is an Annette Bening plays his mother
and that Bening plays his mother and it’s a really incredible story and and
you know that it’s all true is quite crazy he um and I believe I know I could
be wrong about this but I do believe that Agustin burrows is a self-taught
writer who didn’t really go to college or anything and that he that he wrote I
think it was running with scissors got published and then his publisher wanted
to see what else he had he didn’t have any other manuscripts so he gave her
Atlanta he looks through his journals and they were he had journals that were
just about published as they were which if anyone that
watches my channel is a writer knows how utterly remarkable that is you know that
he would have something publishable injury in his journals you know that’s
pretty incredible if you’re not feeling really bad about your parents think of
Agustin burrows we get I think he’s got some really incredible parents and
they’re in Alec Baldwin he was a really great choice to play his dad of course I
could I’d seen that I’d seen the movie first so I could y’all blow it out of my
mind when I read this book but when a Gersten Burroughs was saw his saw there
was a shadowy presence in his life they form on the stairs they coughed from the
basement they silent figures smoking a cigarette in the dark as the gusty grew
older something sinister within his father began to unfurl something dark
and secretive that could not be named betrayal after shocking betrayal and
Sudan agustín’s childhood was over the kind of father he wanted didn’t exist
this father was distant aloof and uninterested and then the games began
with a wolf at the table Agustin burrows makes a quantum leap into an untapped
emotional terrain the radical pendulum swing between love and hate the
unspeakably terrifying a relationship between father and son told with
scorching honesty and penetrating insight it is a story for anyone who has
ever longed for unconditional love from a parent though harrowing and brutal a
wolf at the table will ultimately leave you buoyed with profound joy of simply
being alive it’s a memoir of stunning psychological cruelty and the redemptive
power of hope still of deception Jib of deception by Jeffrey wolf now look at
this he has a brother he has a brother the two brothers Jeffrey and Tobias well
they were not raised together the parents split up and one each each took
one boy they both became best-selling writers separate separately became
best-selling writers and they were both and they both had crazy crazy childhoods
so Duke Wolfe in which called Dukes of dukkha deception memoirs of my father
the juice of deception a little bit endearing I mean a little bit more
endearing than maybe some of the others because he he has
but Vivi has some kind of get caught up in his fantasies but he what he really
does he’s really brilliant and you just kind of keep getting this felt like what
if you just really put some of that energy into just really doing some of
the things because he puts he’s able to pull off he lies he lies his way through
everything he like he basically says he went to this top-notch boarding school
as a kid he licensed way into it you know through college degrees that he
never earned he gets his way into jobs and pulls them off and you know
eventually you know you know he gets caught and he has to keep screwing
around but it’s really amazing what he’s able to pull off and you think what if
you just apply himself to doing it for real you know I feel I would have done
it just fine but you know obviously not cut out for being a parent you know this
is guys just totally not cleared for being a parent at all he says about it
is an are misleading story of familial love and hate coming of age no man could
finish this book without resolving choose take stock of his relationship
with his own father he’s quite a bit older than okay so this was actually
this was 79 published in 39 days in 1489 abundant with complexities
contradictions families sympathy first-rate autobiography conscientious
intimate lucid and complicated a good novel cover it’s true
Duke Wolfe was a flawless specimen of the American Clubman a product of Yale
and the OSS a one-time fighter pilot turned aviation engineer joke wolf was a
failure who flunked out of the series of undistinguished schools was passed up
for military service and supported himself with desperately improvised
scams exploiting employers wives and finally his own son and Sarah Lee you
know he he dies penniless and alone but he is a sympathetic character there’s
something about him that is a sympathetic character and you know I
don’t know that definitely is such a word worth to read and then and then
Tobias well it’s his younger brother and Tobias wealth wrote the crazy stories
that happen to him in his mother when they took off and this play
said this boy’s life was I don’t know robert de niro seems to like get lots of
roles in memoirs turnings and movies um because the Robert De Niro played a
really bad guy in this book in this movie when this was turned into a movie
of a boyhood in the 50s a true modern classic introduces us to the young Toby
wolf but by turns tough and vulnerable crafty and bumbling separated by divorce
from his father and brother Toby and his mother up constantly on the move as he
fights for a dinner for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting
hostility of a new stepfather his experiences are at once poignant and
comical and Wolfe masterfully recreates the frustrations cruelties and joys of
adolescence his various schemes running away to Alaska
forging checks and stealing cars lead eventually to an actor active outrageous
self invention that releases him into a new world of possibilities awesome story
and you know that like these guys raised separately are able to end up becoming
story writers like okay this is a good one shoe and this one barber tune I’ll
play in the movie this one too another bullshit night in sex city this
became a movie called finding Flynn and finding Flynn Oh who’s an actor’s name
the at yeah the actor who played that who played the main character basically
it’s this story is the true story head this is a different style it’s kind of a
unique style it’s written in little pieces a little snippets that are each
complete in there and in and of themselves so it’s not like a sustained
narrative throughout the whole thing so it’s little pieces so it makes it easy
to stop you can you know if you need to stop and you don’t have to hold your
attention on anything for assist a narrative exactly that it’s a really
unique way of writing and he has used the style in several several books now I
really like it like ticking as the bomb is another one of his books but and
talking about the narcissist his father is a cord
seneschal / narcissists just absolutely the overt narcissist in these books are
really big larger than life and they are pathological liars just absolutely
pathological liars and this guy is one of them but I think the beginning of
this book I think this is the one that starts this way it’s so great the first
lines in the film don’t worry you in the hands of a master storyteller America
has produced only three classic writers Mark Twain JD Salinger and me I’m
Jonathan Flynn everything I write is a masterpiece and soon very soon I shall
be known this isn’t my father’s story well it is but he’s not telling him I am
all my life my father has been manifest as an absence you think I wanna be a
writer that’s right you’re right ha you know what that letter was written
from prison my mom’s dead and my dad I haven’t heard from 19 years he passed
four checks I don’t know that I ever want to see him again at this point of the story I am an
upstanding citizen of these United States I had a disagreement with my
scum-sucking and boy what I am is an artist
some part of me knew he would show up someday so what makes you want to work
with the homeless we catch him on the way down
next stop the morgue if I stayed in one place long enough he would find me
I’d like a loom for the evening I was raised but if you see a necklace aside
from the circumstances I’m doing the same thing here as you want yelling
material sister life life is gathering material of course writers especially
poets are particularly prone to madness I think I’m that father I think you need
to get some help one writer to another I don’t care how
good a writer you are you can’t kill some other words Jeff Lester
no I don’t ever read it I just did we were put on this earth to help other
people in Nicholas it’s a wonderful life it’s a masterpiece mother ends up she is
with him just a really short time to have two kids he it basically runs out
on the family and leaves her with two little blue two little boys she was
raised in for the family that had a lot of money but she’s kind of just owned
she she definitely seems to have been a black sheep of her family and I’m now
here say I have a TD I’ll talk about my other problems live it
so trying to like trying to do this and kill the puppies and you know so I will
practice Anna and get better better that fussing up the spot the mother got here
I don’t know they mad dog psychology but my father dog here is the sweetest dog
in the world and he just is constantly licking the puppies and then growling at
them I don’t understand it he he he he growls with them it’s like he wants to
approach them and he doesn’t want to be approached that’s where it basically it
seems like just like let me come to you don’t come to me it’s really funny but
anyhow Nick Flynn great writer here’s what he does is he takes a couple of
topics and weaves them together and could embrace them together and so in
this one he is talking about the meeting of his father and he’s weaving that
together with his own substance abuse or his ease his dealing with his coming to
terms with his addiction and so his mother basically his mother raises the
two boys by herself and they’re always kind of broke as stuff and then she
kills herself when he like the first year
he goes to college she kills herself and so there’s some about that too but he’s
working any in a published shelter when his father comes in and he meets his
father and his father is an alcoholic and he is you know going and he goes
create he’s getting crazy I know it’s just that alcoholism that makes him
crazy or wetters old age because I think this is a thing have these narcissists
they live forever they live to be okay of course this guy lipfird really old is
even have asleep it on the streets he was you know had a really rough life
that he lived to be really really old and his son took care of him he did even
though he was you know didn’t know him that that’s for sure Sosa’s Nick Flynn
met his father when he was working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in
Boston as a teenager he received letters from his stranger father a
self-proclaimed poet and conman doing time in federal prison for his bank
robbery another bullshit night in sex city tells the story of the trajectory
that led Nick and his father into the streets onto the streets into the
shelter and finally to each other and I really like Nick’s plan she’s I think
great a great writer and but this book is a real different kind of different
kind of style so so another one the narcissistic father and what’s really
great is when you get people that could write about these topics and sort of
find a way of adding some kind of levity so that other people want to read it
that’s really tricky really really tricky especially when these stories are
not childhood especially when it’s your own flawed adult self in the story very
hard to get people on your side you know when you’re telling stories about you
know what it goes against things that people you know people typically don’t
want to hear about mothers and fathers who don’t love their kids you know that
goes against our what we want to believe about things and so they’re already yury
up against that when you’re gonna write a story like that to begin with and then
if you’re gonna come out to be a sympathetic adult figure who makes
mistakes it has flaws and you know does things where they end up you know going
to jail things like that like is true in my
story you know it’s really you know a really really tricky thing to get people
on your side and so I have to read a lot of stories to see how they do it
okay I started off on this book it was dropped off I didn’t finish it falling
leaves by a Dulaney and MA okay this is a book another one if you ever feeling
really bad about your family here’s another book that can you can go
okay well at least I’d have an Allen yen Maz family because Wow with these guys
abusive it’s a Chinese family and she is the fourth child and her mother apparently she was at home her mother
basically dies two weeks after giving birth to her she gets so kind of
septicemia or something and it sounds like the father the father was
narcissistic for sure and he neglect full and you know how they are about
illnesses he didn’t want he declared her and he didn’t get her medical care even
though they have tons of that their wealthy family a wealthy family but
didn’t get her the medical care that she needed and she died and so especially in
Chinese culture this made her the black sheep that means it really makes you bad
news if your mother dies after having you know in birth so she was just the
black sheep of the family and then the father marries this Yuri
Eurasian woman who and they have two more children the senator’s daughter the
son becomes the complete golden child he just is thinking that you know has yeah
it’s outrageous the favoritism ironically well you know these are old
sirs i don’t how much I should tell I want to give them away so I want to tell
you I want to tell you don’t tell you in turn you know being pivotal details
about the story but I was just about to give give over some these fiber B says
falling leaves return to their roots okay so begins the extraordinary memoir
of courageous women’s triumph over despair and a life long the search for
acceptance love and understanding unfolding against a turbulent backdrop
of social political and cultural upheaval following
is that once a word of heartfelt intimacy and a rare portrait of 20th
century China so yes this is Ellen Ellen’s mother died getting birth to her
as a result she was deemed bad luck and considered inferior and insignificant by
the other siblings who bullied her relentlessly when her father took a
beautiful Eurasian as his new wife at a time when everything Western was coveted
as superior to Chinese Adeline found herself at the mercy of a cold and
cruelly manipulative stepmother and oh my gosh was she ever Niang treated all
of the stepchildren as second-class citizens the full power of her wrath was
unleashed on Adeline her only refuge was in the arms of a beloved aunt who
lavished a section encouragement on the child despite her unhappiness Adeline
excelled at school and became a top student now she was doing she began this
said well Casey became a best-selling author but she’s also doctors an MD
she’s a physician as the Red Army approached in 18-49 the family moved to
Hong Kong Adeline was shuttled off to boarding school in a virtual isolation
forbidden visitors mail and all contact with her family Barron herself in books
she dreamed of freedom in a new life and there were like some of the saddest
things I’ve seen up this school where like like little signs of love a little
sense your family cared about you or things like at breakfast you could get a
fresh egg like she never got one look it was just like this coveted thing it was
just so just so totally heartbreaking and listen to this listen to this Amy
Tan writes Amy Tan writes of that hey I read for two nights sleepless my heart
pierced by a Dulaney n Maas a counter for terrible childhood falling leaves is
a potent psychological drama pitting a stubborn little girl against the most
merciless of adversaries and rivals her own family I am still haunted by Maas
memoir how could any child endure cruelty of this magnitude why is our
need to belong to a family any family as vital as air and it’s a meet on TN who is the author
of The Joy Luck Club so definitely a a good read this one is particularly I
mean live a lot of people probably wouldn’t like it because it’s pretty
pretty heavy and doesn’t have a lot of bouncing back it’s it’s sort of you know
it’s pretty pretty heavy but damn them now them yeah Alexander Lieberman and
Tatiana two pissed ik so we’re gifted Russian immigrants who fled occupied
Paris in 1940 to become the first and grandest power couple of New York’s
fashion world they hobnob with Dali Jie Lina Dietrich Nabokov never comes
also another writer they told American women how to look for
a travel what to read they loved each other fiercely and erotically and
treated everyone else with ruthless opportunism as told by their daughter
Francine Alexandre Tatiana’s story is fascinating often heart-rending filled
with romance pathos and captures the chaos and glamour of post-war New York
Tatyana became an icon of New York fashion and the hat in the Hat she
designed by for Saks Fifth Avenue were the stent for what stylish women we
weren’t wearing everywhere she devoted Alexander Lieberman who gee literally
raised Francine as his own child from the time she was nine I eventually came
to preside over the entire Conde Nast Empire
did you know Conde Nast a person was a person’s name Conde Nast don’t know if
I’m pronouncing that correctly but it’s the name of a magazine I I did not know
it’s a name of a person the glamorous life they shared was both creative and
destructive was marked by exceptional bond forged out of their highly charged
love and raging self-centeredness their obsessive adulation of of success and
elegance was elevated to a kind of worship and the high drama that
characterized their lives followed them to their deaths Tatiana
increasingly consumed nostalgia consumed with the Seljuk for a long long lost
Russia her last year’s addicted to painkillers
shortly after her death Alexander then aged 80 shocked all who knew him by
marrying her nurse of course somewhere in here I even
actually said though here it is right here I said they they there they
determine roast the top of a high society holding courts a who’s who list
of the mid-century intellectuals entertainers flamboyant and outrageous
bold and brilliant they were irresistible stir friends like Marlena
Dietrich Salvador Dali and the publishing tycoon Conde Nast but to
those who knew them well they were also highly neurotic narcissistic and
glacially self promoting now here’s somebody who doesn’t know that they’re
talking about you can’t really be neurotic in our system same time not
really so much but I think they’re probably trying to say the pilot they’re
probably talking about surprise they’re probably thinking that narses is it
narses it means self-centered spice they’re probably thinking that that is
the synonym for self-centered and so the crazy crazy stuff they do in their
narcissism they’re probably they’re probably thinking of that is neurotic
but meaning crazy but it’s just narcissistic because as we know neurotic
is the opposite of narcissistic but anyhow thanks like books like looks like
this like wild for instance here’s a writer who wrote about a time when she
was on a trip and you know but firmly she was her mother was she just left her
mother and I felt so I’m like I wish I had a mother like that
you know um and Elizabeth Gilbert is another one here’s alright I look at the
Gilbert with Eat Pray Love you Pray Love I thought I just didn’t relate to this
story at all and I know people loved it people just
loved it but I thought this isn’t I think give me these problems I take
these problems any day you know she’s got like her parents
lovers got plenty of money go traveling around the world for a year I’m like
that’s not problems you know and I did there’s a
the exact same timeframe exact same timeframe is when this was all happening
to me when my husband left me penniless and all that was in China this was
happening and I was just like oh is this like took
it out right out of me it was like so hard to relate I could not relate I was
like I wish I could just take a trip and go traveling around the world you know
she had a career she left her husband for being young going you know basically
he was annoying she left him for that yeah you know but it was like it was
this big heart-rending thing and she was you know I didn’t get it I just didn’t
get it it’s like this this is how many problems you mirror problems but that’s
a good start that should be a good start on some some good books to read if you
are either a writer or you just want to you just want to feel like you could
read something that you can relate to or you don’t you’re not gonna open up a
book I read a story about all this loving parents and stuff that make you

10 thoughts on “Popular Memoirs with Narcissistic Characters (Part #1) – Evening TV

  1. This video got really long so I decided to break it up into two episodes, so be sure to watch for part 2 for the complete list. Let me know if you have 'books or movies to add .titles to add to the list? Have you read any of these or seen the movies? Please share what you liked or disliked in the comments and don't forget to like the video and I'd love to have you join my youtube family by hitting subscribe.

  2. All those cute puppies running around are distracting from your great analysis of these memoirs.

  3. I happen to have a blog post on my website on this topic published exactly on World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day, June 1: http://thelanguageagent.com/writing-about-abuse-and-trauma/

    On the post, I’ve reviewed memoirs released by traditional, hybrid, and indie publishers on abuse and trauma. Some of them specifically discuss Cluster B personality disorders. I also share resources and tips for writing about abuse, trauma, and mental health issues.

    I just stumbled upon this video yesterday, so I added links to this video series (Parts 1 and 2) on my blog post. I’ll be sure to add a link to your writing group if it materializes.

    I’m working on my own memoir. I’m already a writer, but this is quite challenging to do, not only because of the subject matter but also the techniques, style, the length of the book, etc.

    I’ve normally done personal essays, literary journalism, (particularly music/entertainment reviews), and blogging. Memoirs are similar to novels in narration style, so I have to learn to write in that style, although there’s a lot more flexibility. You can throw in some prose poetry, personal essays, and creative journalistic stuff. Oh, and I’ve never written a full-length book. I admit that it’s overwhelming to try to tackle something as big as this one, but it has to be done. We need to spread the word. I have a unique take on this topic: emotional and psychological abuse/Cluster B abuse in a long-distance relationship. I don’t think any books with my specific angle are available in the market. At least not yet.

    I definitely encourage everyone to write. Of course, do it when you're completely ready emotionally, mentally, and financially (at least the first two, as the last one can be arranged later). I’d love to see more male authors! Men are also targets and survivors of abuse. I’d also love for targets and survivors of emotional and psychological abuse to speak up about the covert but dangerous effects of narcissistic abuse. That sort of abuse does as much damage as (or even more damage than) physical abuse and sexual abuse, which is a form of physical abuse.

    I’d love to join your writing group for motivation and support. Of course, I’ll be happy to support other writers in return!

    BTW, I love the doggy cameo! 😊 (Pet mom here!)

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