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Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir Of Being Found

Saffian, Sarah

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ISBN 10: 046503618X / ISBN 13: 9780465036189
Verlag: Basic Books, 1998
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
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046503618X Near fine in near fine dust jacket. First edition Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING8069200

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir Of Being Found

Verlag: Basic Books

Erscheinungsdatum: 1998

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Fine

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

Über diesen Titel


”Hello, is Sarah Saffian there?” asks the voice on the other end of the line. ”My name is Hannah Morgan. I think I'm your birth mother.” So begins this powerful memoir by a young woman whose life changes dramatically when she receives a phone call from someone at once a stranger and her most intimate relation. Saffian's riveting story of painful self-discovery and newfound joy is unique in its reversal of the usual adoption narrative: here, the biological parents seek out the adoptee. Weaving together letters, journal entries, memories and relections, Saffian tells of her adoption, her adoptive mother's death six years later, and her upbringing in a loving family. She learns that her biological parents ended up marrying and having other children. She is thus faced with an entire family to whom she is genetically linked. Saffian's boldly honest account reaches a moving climax with their reunion, three years after the first phone call. Along the way, it raises thorny questions: What is a family? Can we have more than one? What is the line between parental concern and intrusion? Is it hypocritical to be a pro-choice adoptee? How do nature and nurture work together to form a person's identity? By turns earnest and playful, Ithica: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found is sure to touch readers everywhere who have grappled with who they are.Sarah Saffian is a former reporter for the New York Daily News and has also written for the Village Voice, Interview, Harper's Bazaar, and Mirabella. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and lives in her native New York City.


When 23-year-old Sarah Saffian picked up the phone in January 1993 and heard a woman's voice on the other end say, "I think I'm your birth mother," she embarked on a journey both longed for and feared by almost all adopted children, the parents who raised them, and the ones who gave them up. Saffian's case was unusual: her birth parents eventually married and had three more children, her full-blood siblings. She honestly depicts her feelings of wariness and sometimes annoyance as they gently pressed her for a reunion. It was three years before Saffian felt ready to visit Hannah Morgan and Adam Leyder.

As befits a topic of such intimacy, Saffian sticks closely to specifics. She not only delineates her own shifting emotions with precision, she quotes extensively from her birth parents' letters to vividly reveal their personalities (Hannah understands her caution, Adam is needier and pushier). Saffian does not identify any of the players as villains or victims, despite the tricky emotional space they navigate, but finds human beings doing their best to give and receive love in circumstances for which there are no fixed guidelines.

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