cover image Riding Fury Home: A Memoir

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir

Chana Wilson. Seal, $17 trade paper (380p) ISBN 978-1-58005-432-4

From the horrors of her childhood in 1950s New Jersey to the liberating discovering of her sexual identity decades later, psychotherapist Wilson's memoir is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. During Wilson's childhood, her mother%E2%80%94after attempting suicide (the gun jammed)%E2%80%94was shuttled in and out of mental institutions, subjected to electroshock treatments, and addicted to various pills that severely impaired her ability to parent. When Wilson's father leaves the family for England, young Wilson is forced to watch over her mother, making sure she does not overdose or attempt to kill herself again. From a young age, Wilson repeats a mantra: "I am so strong. I can get through anything;" her resilience pays off and, as an adult, Wilson's therapist comments on her "limitless ability for suffering." Exhausted by having to care for her mother, Wilson eventually flees home for college in Iowa. Now with the freedom to explore her own identity%E2%80%94through anti-Vietnam protests and 1960s counterculture%E2%80%94Wilson embarks on a journey that ultimately brings her closer to her mother. After coming out as a lesbian, Wilson learns her mother is also gay, and that her depression was fueled by her love affair with a woman that was "forbidden and punished" by the repressive society of the 1950s. Through sharing her personal tale of forgiveness and unconditional love, Wilson breaks the silence on the trauma of oppression and the ecstasy of self-acceptance. (Apr.)