Stories I Never Told My Daughter

Last summer, when John Herman and I were organizing the first event in our occasional reading series All Things Out Loud, he mentioned to me that one of our seven performers for that inaugural event would be a Beat poet he knew. I was excited to hear that we’d be joined by a more seasoned writer, one who I imagined would give our upstart little series some credibility, but I had no idea how blown away I’d be by the talents of Chuck Galle. I also had no idea that I’d soon be editing his memoir, Stories I Never Told My Daughter, which is out this week in book form, and which will be available for sale (as far as I know) at staged performances of Stories running this weekend and next at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth, NH.

I know I’m incredibly biased here—that’s the theme of this week, I guess—but I can’t recommend Stories I Never Told My Daughter highly enough. Whether you see the stage show (a version of which was performed back in February at The Press Room) or buy the book, the tales Chuck has to tell are definitely worth experiencing. Here’s a brief description, from the Website of The Players’ Ring:

Originally written to give the daughter he hadn’t seen in 43 years a glimpse of the life that lead to their separation, Stories I Never Told My Daughter is jam-packed with tales of an unconventional, dissolute American life—tales of a man with an uncanny knack for finding esoteric adventures and escaping from seriously dire straits. Chuck lived on an edge that few people touch without falling over the other side, and in raw, bare-bones style, Stories presents them in a chorus of voices that will make you laugh, cry, howl, cringe—and remember just how “human” human beings can be.

The characters that Chuck Galle brings us in Stories I Never Told My Daughter are among the most memorable I’ve ever read or seen. Their stories are delivered in prose that is at once both bare-bones and deeply poetic. It’s my favorite kind of storytelling: the kind that is accessible, while also challenging readers to expand their minds. I do hope that you’ll check it out.