Whether or not you employ humor in dealing with difficult subjects, the of the writing is of the utmost importance. Personally, I can read about almost any subject if I feel a basic trust in, and respect for, the writer. The voice must have authority. But more than that, I must know that the writer is all right. If she describes a suicide attempt or a babysitter's cruelty to her, or a time of acute loneliness, I need to feel that the writer, not the character who survived the experience, is in control of telling the story....The tone of such pieces may be serious, ironic, angry, sad, or almost anything except whiny. There must be no hidden plea for help - no subtle seeking of sympathy. The writer must have done her work, made her peace with the facts, and be telling the story for the story's sake. Although the writing may incidentally turn out to be another step in her recovery, that must not be her visible motivation: literary writing is not therapy. Her first allegiance must be to the telling of the story and I, as the reader, must feel that I'm in the hands of a competent writer who needs nothing from me except my attention.