Self-reflection brought on from reminiscing on events that inadvertently have shaped some aspects of your being can be its own separate battle (other than remembering the event itself). Molly Louise Hudelson’s newly published collections of short reflections and poetry, I Told You I Hated New York, does just that, showcasing 8 years in-the-making of stories that give you a peek inside of Hudelson’s world. The first story in the collection is dated 2011 and because of the chronological order of the book, the reader is able to grow and experience the same memories at the same pace and in the same order as the writer. The memories that Hudelson captures are ones that while specific to her, reach multiple audiences as the effects of those situations are ones that many can relate to.
I Told You I Hated New York deals with mental illness, body image, the underground scene, friendships & love, and growing into yourself. Each story in the collection aims to say something more about the world—to show the reader a bigger picture. Hudelson uses clear and strong language and is not afraid to make big statements. She does not hold back from sharing her hardships, highlighting her strength and perseverance both as a writer and as a woman dealing with her own inner demons. If you are an artist, a lover of music, a writer, or someone who has had to struggle to get where you are today, there is something in this book that will speak to you.
We did an interview with Hudelson where she comments on how the idea of picking multiple pieces from over the course of her writing career came about. She wanted to show her growth, “from a kid who was so excited to discover and fall in love with music to an adult who accomplished a lot of things [she’d] only dreamt of.” Being able to track your own progress in the way that Hudelson does is both therapeutic for gathering your own thoughts and a great format for storytelling.
My favorite piece as both a reader and another writer had to be the title piece, “I Told You I Hated New York”. Not only is this piece a great one to name the entire collection off of, but it also is a piece that stands strong on its own with strong language that paints a clear image. Now, here is the poem “I Told You I Hated New York” directly from her book.
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Written by Sarah Vincent