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Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis

Rhett, Kathryn

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ISBN 10: 0385484496 / ISBN 13: 9780385484497
Verlag: Doubleday
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
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0385484496 First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING36500

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis

Verlag: Doubleday

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Fine

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

Über diesen Titel


Memoirs of crisis--of depression, alienation, divorce, illness, death--have recently become tremendously popular among both readers and critics alike. When poet Kathryn Rhett experienced her own crisis, she found comfort in others' stories of adversity and related to their survival tales. A teacher at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, Rhea taught a course in memoir. She soon came to realize that many memoirs are actually stories of survival and so her new course, survival stories, was born.
Survival Stories is an outgrowth of this workshop. A collection of memoirs of crisis, Survival Stories speaks to our need to write and read about life-changing experiences. Here twenty writers-including Lucy Grealy, Rick Moody, Reynolds Price, and William Styron-reveal the variety and power of crisis memoir. Whether it be Lauren Slater talking about obsessive compulsive disorder, Christopher Davis coping with his brother's murder, or Christina Middlebrook reliving her bone marrow transplant, each of these essays speaks to a fundamental human need to come to terms with difficulty and loss.
The writers and readers of crisis memoirs are survivors, the ones left to tell the story, the ones left to live. The experience of crisis is universal, it is the moment of decision or upheaval that profoundly changes the course of a life. Survival Stories is a celebration of memoir as an art form and the human instinct to survive and adapt to adversity.


Memoirs constructed around crises can easily spin out of control, free-falling to the level of tearjerking melodrama. Fortunately, most of the 22 pieces in Survival Stories, including contributions from such noted authors as Jamaica Kincaid and Isabelle Allende, bypass that sticky trap and carve crystalline beauty from raw anger, sorrow, and dread. Christopher Davis, whose work revisits the steps leading up to and away from the murder of his younger brother, finds crisis memoir a "way to transform pain back into love." Surely this is true for other contributors, too. Natalie Kusz retraces months spent in a children's hospital reconstructing her face after being mauled by a dog in Alaska. Her story and her mother's perspective emerge almost lazily in disarming counterpoint to their intensity. Christina Middlebrook tells of the effort she made to slip back into her soul after a bone marrow transplant, burning everything she had in the hospital except the inevitable memories. In an excerpt from Darkness Visible, William Styron conjures a wraithlike "second self" who watches dispassionately as he carefully wraps and discards his treasured writing notebook, a bow to the numbing depression pushing him toward suicide. Not every tale is dire, but each draws on different losses or hurts that befall us in life and may be of comfort to others walking these roads. --Francesca Coltrera

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