Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stranger than Fiction

There are two stories in the news lately that have me thinking of fiction.  The first is the story of a woman from Grosse Pointe Park, MI, who was found dead in her car, in Detroit.  Here is a link to that story that gives you the basics:  Jane Bashara Story.  Obviously, the story of an affluent husband hiring someone to kill his wife, which seems to be the police's current theory, has been written.  But did you notice where Jane Bashara lived?  Middlesex.  As in Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex.

Jeffrey Eugenides set a large part of his Pulitzer Prize winning novel on Middlesex, specifically using his own former house, 741 Middlesex, and a neighbor's home, 567 Middlesex as the basis for his descriptions.  According to this site, several other houses on Middlesex belonged to Detroit Mafia and "Detroit Outfit" bosses.   Reportedly, the house at 701 Middlesex belonged to Pete Corrado, until his death, and then belonged to Anthony "The Bull" Corrado until 1988.  The house at 702 Middlesex belonged to Joseph "Uno" Zerilli, who was said to have been "the Godfather" of the Detroit Mafia for 40 years.  The house at 781 Middlesex is also said to have been owned by Mafia family members.  The tunnels that Eugenides mentioned in The Virgin Suicides just might actually exist on a street like that.

Jane Bashara lived at 552 Middlesex.  The story of her murder over the weekend is making national news, but at this point, her husband is only "a person of interest" and not a suspect.  We'll see how this one unfolds.  Regardless of what happens, it sounds like there are still lots of stories to be told on Middlesex.

The other story that has me thinking of fiction is that of the woman who left her toddler children in her car, and was found miles away hours later.  She can't remember how she got to where she was found, but believes that she walked there, even though she was found 12 miles from where she left her kids.  Here is a link to that story: Sarah Hatfield Story.  The doctors in her case are saying that she may suffer from "transient global amnesia", which causes her to forget how she got where she is, and apparently why she left where she was.  This had me thinking of Unnamed  by Joshua Ferris, where the main character, Tim, was unable to control his body's impulse to walk.  In that book, the disease was not named or known to any doctors, thus the title.  Tim felt that it was not a mental disorder but a bodily issue where his mind could not stop his body from walking.  I wonder if Sarah Hatfield has read Ferris' book.

That's all for my "breaking news" update for the day.  I'll keep you posted if twists in the real life stories start me thinking about other strange tales.

Still Reading:  London Train by Tessa Hadley

Still Listening to:  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

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