cover image WHEN KATIE WAKES: A Memoir


Connie May Fowler, Author . Doubleday $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-50201-6

In this unique personal narrative, Fowler offers an eloquent look into the mind of a battered woman. Directly addressing her former abuser, she tells the story of their relationship and her gradual emergence from her own "self-loathing." A novelist with a poetic voice, Fowler (Remembering Blue) paints a rich, vivid portrait, by turns terrifying, haunting, gritty, dreamy and starkly rational. Snapshots of her evolving inner life flow into one another in an intimate montage. Heartbreakingly honest about the naive wishfulness that keeps her with a monstrous boyfriend, she writes, "When you tell me you'll turn me into a writer, that we'll pen movies together and live in Hollywood, my foolish hopefulness gushes like an opened vein." Her deep need to save this violent drunk stems from her past, when she nursed her abusive mother as she died a slow, ugly, alcoholic death. In the midst of Fowler's transition from childhood to her relationship with her abusers to her new, healthier existence, she agonizes, "Which person is the real me? The young professional? Or the cowed little girl who has become a battered woman?" Ultimately, she completed her inner transformation and left the relationship, accompanied by her faithful dog Katie. Fowler's extraordinary memoir unlocks the secret inner worlds of battered women, codependents trying to love addicts and everyone who's overcome a traumatic past and healed herself through love. (Feb. 1)

Forecast:Oprah Winfrey had a hand in the TV movie of Fowler's fictional account of domestic abuse, Before Women Had Wings. That distinction and a nine-city author tour will win her book sales.