I finished reading Peter Weissman’s Digging Deeper: A Memoir of the Seventies. Full disclosure: his daughter, a friend of mine, recommended the book to me. (I swear not all of the books I read come from my social networks, really.) This book takes place in the time after a year spent as a hippie, a time he writes about in another book, I Think, Therefore Who am I? This book is about how he reintegrates himself into society, struggling with some of the same things that everyone else does: how do I survive and live a life of meaning simultaneously?
His path includes struggling with mind numbing and frustrating jobs, supporting his wife through art school, the struggles of a committed relationship, friendship, being a New Yorker on the West Coast, and trying to find time and energy for his passion: writing. Each chapter is a brief vignette (like in Justin Torres’ book) of that time in his life.
I had few expectations about plot or content. My friend simply told me that her dad was “a good writer” and since she is an author herself, I took her at her word. For the record, she’s right. Otherwise, I expected this book to be more about the seventies. I was anticipating some sort of generational, cultural difference that would make the protagonist (Weissman) different than me and difficult to relate to. The opposite happened. The pages turn because main character makes so much sense and is so easily to related to, that I am curious and care about he does next. I see myself, my husband, and my friends in many of the things and people he describes. The book ends with just the right amount of closure, and that is all I will say about that.
Instead of being a memoir of a decade, I see his book as a Coming-Of-Twenties story of sorts. It’s worth the read.