NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY A haunting, unforgettable mother-daughter story for a new generation—the debut of a blazing new lyrical voice Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, and whose highbrow taste was at odds with her hardscrabble life. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Kathi frequently kept Domenica home from school to watch such classics as the Godfather movies and everything by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, telling her, “This is more important. I promise. You’ll thank me later.” And despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. With or Without You is the story of Domenica Ruta’s unconventional coming of age—a darkly hilarious chronicle of a misfit ’90s youth and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process. In a brilliant stylistic feat, Ruta has written a powerful, inspiring, compulsively readable, and finally redemptive story about loving and leaving. Praise for With or Without You “A luminous, layered accomplishment.”—The New York Times Book Review “A singular new coming-of-age memoir traces one girl’s twisting path up from mean streets (and parents) to the reflective life of a writer. . . . The burgeoning canon of literary memoir . . . begets another winner in Domenica Ruta’s searing With or Without You. . . . [A] gloriously gutsy memory-work.”—Elle “Stunning . . . comes across as a bleaker, funnier, R-rated version of The Glass Castle and marks the arrival of a blazing new voice in literature.”—Entertainment Weekly “Valiant and heartbreaking.”—Bust “Powerful . . . Ruta found an unconventional voice, a scary good mixture of erudition and hardened street smarts. Her writing is also, as they say in Danvers, wicked funny—though in her case wicked is more an adjective than an intensifier. . . . [With or Without You] hums with jangled energy and bristles with sharp edges. . . . Ruta writes with unflinching honesty.”—Slate “Bracingly funny and poignant.”—The Boston Globe “Exceedingly powerful.”—Booklist
The story of the actor who portrayed Mark Cohen in "Rent" covers such topics as his Broadway successes, his grief at the death of the production's creator, and his struggles with his mother's life-threatening illness.
A post-apocalyptic world, an unlikely band of Revolutionaries, this is the memoir of their struggles and triumphs. A woman describes a refugee colony's dramatic rise to power. The governmental shift was bound to happen, the only question in the matter is who will be the leader of this new nation. Written in first person, this memoir provides an inside look at those whose lives are destined to become swallowed up and defined by political intrigue. Great men and women go through all the same trials and temptations ordinary people go through; the stakes are just much higher because everybody is watching them.
Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo
Author: Nancy Caronia
Category: Literary Criticism
Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo is the first scholarly book on an Italian American woman writer and it offers, as Anthony J. Tamburri argues in his Afterword, "a new articulation of the Italian-American female writer." Placing DeSalvo at the forefront of a cultural renaissance of the body-mind-spirit connection, Personal Effects pays special attention to DeSalvo's memoirs, with their fearless exploration of such topics as immigration, domesticity, war, adultery, illness, mental health, the environment, and sexual, physical, and cultural abuse. Louise DeSalvo teaches the contributors to this volume remind us, that, although the pen and the keyboard are important tools of the writing practice the kitchen utensils, meditation, and the conversations over lunch are as integral to a life's work. Relying on a multiplicity of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives memoir studies, ethnic studies, Italian American studies, Woolf studies, women's studies, literary theory, cultural studies, food studies scholars and creative non-fiction writers offer a lucid view of DeSalvo as a writer who has produced one of the largest and most provocative bodies of memoir writing in contemporary US literature, a scholar who has enriched our understanding of Virginia Woolf, and a teacher who has transformed countless lives. More than an anthology, this collection represents a case study that serves as an intervention and example for Italian American interdisciplinary scholarship in the twenty-first century. Personal Effects moves purposefully and elegantly between the genres of the scholarly essay and personal essay and includes well known as well as emerging scholars and writers who create an intimate conversation on the depth and resonance of DeSalvo's work.
Author: Amy J.L. Baker, author of Surviving Parental Alienation: A Journey of Hope and Healing and Bonded to the Abuser: How Victims Make Sense of Childhood Abuse
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Family & Relationships
Child abuse is crushing and may lead to a lifetime of negative outcomes, including poor health, and mental illness. More wrenching is the bond victims often form with their abusers, one so strong they may attempt to protect and defend their victimizers. This book uncovers the realities of these relationships through an examination of abuse memoirs.
This is a story that, when told directly, shuts people up, the kind of story that drives people to change the subject, or cross the street when they see the teller coming. In 1949, author Dorothy Foltz-Gray and her identical twin sister, Deane, were born. In 1981, Deane, then a psychologist, was fatally shot by one of her patients. In the years between, the pair formed an almost supernaturally close bond, one so intimate that at times, their memories fused and their individual identities dimmed. Here, Foltz-Gray, an award-winning poet and journalist, recounts not only the extraordinary phenomenon of growing up in a world that could not distinguish her from another human being, but also the struggle to survive the loss of her twin. Foltz-Gray describes the imagined womb life she and her sister shared, their childhood and family, and their dreams of sharing each other’s lives. She also details the nightmare of her sister’s death, its immediate aftermath, and her attempts to recover her self. With and Without Her is the story of what happens when a life divides into before and after. It is a story of identity and individuation, confusion and competition, intimacy and separation, violence and murder. Most of all, it is the story we all face, of loss and survival.