I learned of this book when the author gave a Zoom talk at my University earlier this year. True to form the organizers of the event neglected to alert the library of the author visit, but I ordered a copy of her book when I saw the announcement flier.
This slim memoir provides a glimpse into Mailhot's story. Some pieces are left out, and it is told in a non-linear format. One thing we do learn is that her single mother "destined to die of exhaustion" knew when to use the library. Her near miss with the "miracle of fortune and justice" involved Paul Simon (yes, that Paul Simon) who contacted Maihot's mother in order to get some correspondence he needed for a play he was writing about Salvador Agrón. Mailhot was concerned after the two spoke on the phone that Simon was on his way to becoming her stepfather.
I began to suspect they were flirting when I went with Mom to the library to look up if Simon had a wife. I didn't want Paul Simon to be my new father. I saw an album cover once. He wore turtlenecks. He was pasty. He had beady eyes.
After reading a biography and looking at some news clippings it was determined that Simon was "married to some redhead...".