Sheltering: Mikel Jollett Challenges the Memoir Form
The Author of Hollywood Park Talks to Maris Kreizman
On this episode of Sheltering, Maris Kreizman speaks with Mikel Jollett about his memoir, Hollywood Park. Hollywood Park is about Jollett’s experience growing up in a cult, and his escape and fallout from the childhood trauma he experienced. He talks about believing his life was normal as a child, the narratives and myths he grew up with, and wanting to honor the emotional complexity of children that adults sometimes forget. Please buy Hollywood Park from your favorite local bookstore, or through Bookshop.
From the episode:
Mikel Jollett: I wanted to challenge the traditional view of memoirs. I wanted a narrator who switched voices, the perspective to shift, I wanted a child who communed with animals and ghosts and says things that are clearly not true, but you know they’re not true. Because that’s what it means to live in the emotional world of a child. So then you get to watch the perspective change, the narrator gets older, and the reader has to unpack the lies that we believed, because that’s what happens in the life of an emotionally traumatized child. So then it’s a process of unpacking imagination and perspective and events, but that more accurately captures the reality of how it felt.