Mockingbird

Every Friday Vulture finds a great story that's a little too long to read on the computer screen. Fiction, long-form narrative journalism, epic blog sagas — any of these could be your Weekend Read. Print it out on the office printer, smuggle it home, and curl up with it after brunch.

In the Age of Memoir, it's rare to find a writer who's bluntly honest about his own shortcomings and failures, or a memoir that doesn't put the blame squarely on someone else's shoulders. Christopher Sorrentino's essay about jazz, his father, and his own abandonment of his family, "When We Are a Wilderness," is a clear-eyed look at the ways a man can be blindsided by his own "reserves of deceitfulness, immorality, and cruelty" — and a touching story of a man convinced the mockingbird outside his window is the spirit of the father he knows he's disappointed.

And today's Weekend Read comes with music! Sorrentino wrote the memoir for the terrific mp3 blog Moistworks as part of their Writer's Week. Other featured authors include Rick Moody, Dana Spiotta, and Susan Choi, but it's the essay by Sorrentino (author of the 2005 National Book Award nominee Trance) that hits the hardest. Download the mp3s from Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and Thelonius Monk, print out the memoir, and prepare to be blown away.

When We Are a Wilderness [Moistworks]