Fierce Attachments

Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466819006

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 216

View: 4020


In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called "the prinicpal crux of female despair": the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond. Born and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of "urban peasants," Gornick grows up in a household dominated by her intelligent but uneducated mother's romantic depression over the early death of her husband. Next door lives Nettie, an attractive widow whose calculating sensuality appeals greatly to Vivian. These women with their opposing models of femininity continue, well into adulthood, to affect Gornick's struggle to find herself in love and in work. As Gornick walks with her aged mother through the streets of New York, arguing and remembering the past, each wins the reader's admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her courage and tenacity in really talking to her mother about the most basic issues of their lives, and the still powerful and intuitively-wise old woman, who again and again proves herself her daughter's mother. Unsparing, deeply courageous, Fierce Attachments is one of the most remarkable documents of family feeling that has been written, a classic that helped start the memoir boom and remains one of the most moving examples of the genre.

Fierce Attachments

Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374529965

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 7283


In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called "the prinicpal crux of female despair": the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond. Born and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of "urban peasants," Gornick grows up in a household dominated by her intelligent but uneducated mother's romantic depression over the early death of her husband. Next door lives Nettie, an attractive widow whose calculating sensuality appeals greatly to Vivian. These women with their opposing models of femininity continue, well into adulthood, to affect Gornick's struggle to find herself in love and in work. As Gornick walks with her aged mother through the streets of New York, arguing and remembering the past, each wins the reader's admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her courage and tenacity in really talking to her mother about the most basic issues of their lives, and the still powerful and intuitively-wise old woman, who again and again proves herself her daughter's mother. Unsparing, deeply courageous, Fierce Attachments is one of the most remarkable documents of family feeling that has been written, a classic that helped start the memoir boom and remains one of the most moving examples of the genre.

Truth in Nonfiction

Author: David Lazar

Publisher: University of Iowa Press

ISBN: 1587297310

Category: Reference

Page: 212

View: 6673


Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of A Million Little Pieces, the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers’ claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, “How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it’s true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, ‘This is really true’? Why do they choose to say it then?” The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of nonfiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means. Contributors: John D’Agata, Mark Doty, Su Friedrich, Joanna Frueh, Ray González, Vivian Gornick, Barbara Hammer, Kathryn Harrison, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Leonard Kriegel, David Lazar, Alphonso Lingis, Paul Lisicky, Nancy Mairs, Nancy K. Miller, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Phyllis Rose, Oliver Sacks, David Shields, and Leo Spitzer

A Desire for Women

Author: Suzanne Juhasz

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813532744

Category: Social Science

Page: 263

View: 8221


Annotation An exploration of women's desire for women.

Mothers and Daughters

Author: Andrea O'Reilly,Sharon Abbey

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847694877

Category: Social Science

Page: 302

View: 2671


In 1976, Adrienne Rich wrote in Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution that ¿the cathexis between mother and daughter¿essential, distorted, misused¿is the great unwritten story.¿ In the quarter century since Rich wrote those words, the topic of mothers and daughters has emerged as a salient issue in feminist scholarship. Using women¿s writing, film, feminist theory, and personal experience, contributors to Mothers and Daughters explore how the mother/daughter relationship is represented and experienced as a site of empowerment. This volume will offer readers an important and welcome chapter in the story of the complex relationship that is a part of nearly every woman¿s life.

Fierce Attachments

Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781907970658

Category:

Page: 204

View: 8817


A beloved and intimate story of a conflicted relationship between mother and daughter by a masterful and unique writer.

You're Wearing That?

Author: Deborah Tannen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1588365212

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 288

View: 728


Deborah Tannen's #1 New York Times bestseller You Just Don’t Understand revolutionized communication between women and men. Now, in her most provocative and engaging book to date, she takes on what is potentially the most fraught and passionate connection of women’s lives: the mother-daughter relationship. It was Tannen who first showed us that men and women speak different languages. Mothers and daughters speak the same language–but still often misunderstand each other, as they struggle to find the right balance between closeness and independence. Both mothers and daughters want to be seen for who they are, but tend to see the other as falling short of who she should be. Each overestimates the other’s power and underestimates her own. Why do daughters complain that their mothers always criticize, while mothers feel hurt that their daughters shut them out? Why do mothers and daughters critique each other on the Big Three–hair, clothes, and weight–while longing for approval and understanding? And why do they scrutinize each other for reflections of themselves? Deborah Tannen answers these and many other questions as she explains why a remark that would be harmless coming from anyone else can cause an explosion when it comes from your mother or your daughter. She examines every aspect of this complex dynamic, from the dark side that can shadow a woman throughout her life, to the new technologies like e-mail and instant messaging that are transforming mother-daughter communication. Most important, she helps mothers and daughters understand each other, the key to improving their relationship. With groundbreaking insights, pitch-perfect dialogues, and deeply moving memories of her own mother, Tannen untangles the knots daughters and mothers can get tied up in. Readers will appreciate Tannen’s humor as they see themselves on every page and come away with real hope for breaking down barriers and opening new lines of communication. Eye-opening and heartfelt, You’re Wearing That? illuminates and enriches one of the most important relationships in our lives. “Tannen analyzes and decodes scores of conversations between moms and daughters. These exchanges are so real they can make you squirm as you relive the last fraught conversation you had with your own mother or daughter. But Tannen doesn't just point out the pitfalls of the mother-daughter relationship, she also provides guidance for changing the conversations (or the way that we feel about the conversations) before they degenerate into what Tannen calls a mutually aggravating spiral, a "self-perpetuating cycle of escalating responses that become provocations." – The San Francisco Chronicle

The Fiction of Autobiography

Author: Micaela Maftei

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1623561752

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 208

View: 2130


Writing autobiography is a complicated, often fraught activity for both writer and reader. We can find many recent examples of the way such writing calls into question the author's truthfulness or their authority to present as definitive their 'version' of a particular event or portion of their lives. Drawing upon a wide range of late twentieth and early twenty-first-century autobiographical writing, The Fiction of Autobiography examines key aspects of autobiography from the interrelated perspectives of author, reader, critic and scholar, to reconsider how we view this form of writing, and its relationship to the way we understand and construct identity. Maftei considers recent cases and texts such as Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and Frey's A Million Little Pieces alongside older texts such as Proust's In Search of Lost Time ̧ Nabokov's Speak, Memory and Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. In part, this is to emphasise that key issues reappear and arise over decades and centuries, and that texts distanced by time can speak to each other thoughtfully and poignantly.

When Memory Speaks

Author: Jill Ker Conway

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307797236

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 3636


J ill Ker Conway, one of our most admired autobiographers--author of The Road from Coorain and True North--looks astutely and with feeling into the modern memoir: the forms and styles it assumes, and the strikingly different ways in which men and women respectively tend to understand and present their lives. In a narrative rich with evocations of memoirists over the centuries--from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and George Sand to W. E. B. Du Bois, Virginia Woolf, Frank McCourt and Katharine Graham--the author suggests why it is that we are so drawn to the reading of autobiography, and she illuminates the cultural assumptions behind the ways in which we talk about ourselves. Conway traces the narrative patterns typically found in autobiographies by men to the tale of the classical Greek hero and his epic journey of adventure. She shows how this configuration evolved, in memoirs, into the passionate romantic struggling against the conventions of society, into the frontier hero battling the wilderness, into self-made men overcoming economic obstacles to create an invention or a fortune--or, more recently, into a quest for meaning, for an understandable past, for an ethnic identity. In contrast, she sees the designs that women commonly employ for their memoirs as evolving from the writings of the mystics--such as Dame Julian of Norwich or St. Teresa of Avila--about their relationship with an all-powerful God. As against the male autobiographer's expectation of power over his fate, we see the woman memoirist again and again believing that she lacks command of her destiny, and tending to censor her own story. Throughout, Conway underlines the memoir's magic quality of allowing us to enter another human being's life and mind--and how this experience enlarges and instructs our own lives.

Calling Home

Author: Janet Zandy

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813515281

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 388

View: 9385


This unique collection evokes the little-heard voices of the women who form the very underpinnings of our society.