Teaching Notes for Remove to Play
Use in the classroom to discuss: internal structures; paper as material object; gameplay; the game of 15; play-along; the death drive; depth collections; first-person narrative strategies; the weight of witness; twins; (im)mortality; personal reflection; survival amid extinction events; destructive actions; grief narratives; memory; remembrances; sibling dynamics; family dynamics; confession; interrogation; (mis)communication; body parts; photographs; mirrors; lyrical writing; poetic/economical language; pretense; games; gravestones.
Pairs well with Dante’s Cartography, Excellent Evidence of Human Activity, Prehistoric
Remove to Play by Lia Woodall
It is difficult to deal in direct grief. In the spaces left empty after her twin brother’s suicide, author Lia Woodall learns to play the game of fifteen—a puzzle that requires no partner—and finds a flash memory of a mirror, a flash memory of a flat tire. There is more than is expected in the photograph. There is more than is expected in the cut-up. Winner of The Cupboard Pamphlet’s 2019 Annual Contest, Remove to Play slides left, slides right—seeking solution in fifteen tiles in a boxed frame. Play along. You will not be left entirely empty. Grief is yours to carry, too.