One of the funniest writers working does most of her writing on Twitter these days. Smart. Charming. Whimsical. Duchess Goldblatt, famous for books such as Feasting on the Carcasses of My Enemies: A Love Story and An Axe to Grind, is the blip of optimism on twitter feeds needed and cherished by thousand of individuals all across the world every day. She’s also completely fictional … sort of. But there’s a very real voice behind the woman celebrated as Her Grace and she has a story all her own.
Memoirs that don’t reveal the names of their subjects are rare, but anyone looking for a definitive answer as to Duchess Goldblatt’s real identity might be disappointed. The anonymous author behind the Twitter character keeps her name thoroughly hidden, though she offers up deeply compelling reasons as to why. But to fixate on this one point would distract from possibly the best memoir of the year.
In fact, anonymity might be Becoming Duchess Goldblatt’s greatest asset. It’s possible the veneer of secrecy allows the author to tap into deeper areas of her life, from her divorce to her complicated family relationships. No topic seems off limits, both from her viewpoint and Duchess herself, including a refreshingly honest examination of mental health. The author, by remaining hidden, has provided a comprehensive, compelling narrative that otherwise might not have been possible. Even in lighter portions, some of her most interesting anecdotes—like her systems for receiving physical fan mail—stem from the lengths she takes to protect her anonymous persona.
Even for those who love the wit and wisdom of Her Grace, the enchanting qualities of her Twitter account—of all things—can be difficult to explain. But her memoir? Oh, that’s easy: perfection.
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.