Taryn Hipp was kind enough to stop by in February to share about her memoir, Heavy Hangs the Head. Today I’m reviewing her honest and raw book.
Heavy Hangs the Head
By Taryn Hipp
Published August 22, 2013 by Sweet Candy Press
Heavy Hangs the Head is a memoir novella about a woman with an addiction, a mental illness, and a feminist identity. It is the story of one woman’s journey from anxiety-ridden child to delinquent teenager to divorced alcoholic. This is the story of how she turned all those years of experiences into a beautiful existence.
Taryn Hipp’s memoir is short, only 139 pages. However, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t pack a lot into it. Hipp has written about her alcoholism before in a zine, but she wants to tell more of the story. The stuff she’s been holding back. Hipp writes: This book is not me re-writing the story I shared in that zine, but rather it’s me coming clean and looking at my addiction and recovery not as something that happened to me, but as a part of who I am.
While this isn’t an easy book to read because of the subject matter, I did finish it in one sitting. Her writing and her story pulled me in. Hipp is honest and at points, I was squirming in my chair and wanted to shout, lecture, and cry with her. She doesn’t try to justify her actions. Instead she’s sharing her story. This would be a hard book for many people to write. And I admire her courage and determination. I also have a feeling she has much more to share. This is a step. Some readers may crave more information. But that may be unfair. How many of us come clean about our mistakes in such an honest and open manner? I admire anyone who takes the step in the right direction. And I hope this book will inspire others to seek help if they need it and to help them confront their own demons and destructive behavior. All of us have skeletons in the closet and anyone who is brave enough to discuss their past mistakes for all to know is admirable in my book.
Taryn Hipp is an old tattooed college lady who has been making zines for more than half her life. Currently she writes the perzine “Ladyteeth,” a collection of stories about her experiences being depressed, getting divorced, getting sober, & falling in love.