Fierce Attachments

Vivian Gornick, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-374-15485-1
This supple, energized memoir chronicles Gornick's volatile relationship with her mother and her unsuccessful battle to reject a legacy of hatred, depression, humiliation and self-pity. An able storyteller with a keen ear for dialogue, Gornick (Essays in Feminism effectively montages the intimate, crude kaffeeklatsches in the Bronx tenement of her youth with street scenes from present-day Manhattan. Particularly vivid is the portrait of Nettie, the sensual, Gentile outsider among Jewish immigrant neighbors, who drives a deeper wedge between mother and daughter when she takes the young Gornick under her tutelage. The author's inherited rage particularly doomed her relationships with men, she feels, and she supplies bleak details from her failed marriage as well as her affairs with an older married man and a psychotic childhood love. Unfortunately, the insightful ""deprivation litany'' bogs down with ``knee-jerk antagonism,'' therapy-talk and self-indulgence as a 48-year-old Gornick obsessively censures an 80-year-old mother. (April 20)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Hardcover - 978-0-86068-946-1
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-8070-7123-6
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-671-65757-4
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-374-52996-3
Open Ebook - 216 pages - 978-1-4668-1900-9
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