True Crimes

True Crimes : A Family Album

3.41 (214 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From acclaimed literary talent and "New York Times" bestselling author Kathryn Harrison comes a collection of provocative and illuminating essays. In "True Crimes, " conventional ideas of love, loss, forgiveness, and memory are transformed complicated, upended, and reimagined by one of the foremost memoirists of our time.
In essays written over the course of more than a decade, Kathryn Harrison has created a beautifully detailed and rigorously honest family album. With tenderness and wisdom, compassion and humor, Harrison writes about the things we don t always discuss, casting light on what lurks beneath the surface of everyday life, sifting through the artifacts of memory to find what haunts and endures.
Both serious and surprising, these essays capture the moments and impulses that shape a family. In Keeping Vigil, Harrison reflects on the loss of her beloved father-in-law, and how he managed to repair something her own father had broken. In Holiday Lies, she describes the uneasy but necessary task of lying to her children about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, withholding certain truths to protect their innocence. In Mini-Me, she writes about how the birth of her youngest daughter who used to pry open a sleeping Harrison s eyes finally allowed her to understand her own mother s complicated attitudes about parenting. And in True Crime, Harrison writes for the first time in the almost two decades since the publication of "The Kiss" about her affair with her father, and how she has reckoned with the girl she once was.
With gorgeous prose and unflinching self-examination, "True Crimes" is a powerful and unforgettable literary tour de force.
Praise for "True Crimes
"
I found myself mesmerized by Harrison s nervy confessions: odd and idiosyncratic, as original as any personal disclosures I ve read and yet not obviously calculated for inflammatory effect. . . . Here, as in all of Harrison s nonfiction, there s a magnetic and almost mystical weirdness roiling beneath a seemingly placid surface. "The New York Times Book Review"
It s hard to think of other memoirists who match not just Harrison s unsparing clarity of vision, but her empathy for both her loved ones and her tormentors. . . . Harrison is doubly gifted: She is able both to see her world with painful clarity, and to share this clarity with us. "New Republic"
Revelatory in its honesty about everything from her scorching childhood to the push and pull of marriage. "More"
A beautifully written and wonderful book about almost everything that means anything in life: love, family, loss and betrayal, death, joy. It is heartbreaking, funny, direct, elliptical, and somehow pulls a provocative healing thread of meaning from generation to generation, from husband to wife, and from life to death to life again. Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
In these essays, Harrison approaches her own past as a mystery at once elusive and unshakable and excavates its nuances with tender rigor. Her memories emerge less like artifacts and more like luminous veins of quicksilver, constantly diverging and reconnecting. Leslie Jamison
With its sharp, haunting portraits, this gorgeous and unsettling book is like the most honest family album ever. Harrison is not afraid to plumb the darkness of family life, to look at the rage, panic, and resentments entangled with love: Her reminiscences are vivid and unforgettable. Katie Roiphe"
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 160 x 239 x 25mm | 408g
  • English
  • 1400063485
  • 9781400063482
  • 2,554,814

Review quote

I found myself mesmerized by [Kathryn] Harrison s nervy confessions: odd and idiosyncratic, as original as any personal disclosures I ve read and yet not obviously calculated for inflammatory effect. . . . Here, as in all of Harrison s nonfiction, there s a magnetic and almost mystical weirdness roiling beneath a seemingly placid surface. . . . She is a writer of significant gifts. . . . The intimacy, privacy and even the occasional insularity of these essays are precisely what grant them their curious power. "The New York Times Book Review"
""
It s hard to think of other memoirists who match not just Harrison s unsparing clarity of vision, but her empathy for both her loved ones and her tormentors. . . . The book s essays offer their own fragmentary approach to truth. They also offer us the chance to learn that, when it comes to certain stories, this is the only kind of truth we can ever know. . . . Harrison is doubly gifted: She is able both to see her world with painful clarity, and to share this clarity with us. "New Republic"
""
Harrison is known for fearlessly pushing hot buttons most of us dare not touch. Her memoir-in-essays, "True Crimes, " is revelatory in its honesty about everything from her scorching childhood to the push and pull of marriage. "More"
Poignant, hilarious, and dramatic . . . Harrison is mesmerizing in this set of linked essays as she matches the supple clarity and vital force of her polished prose to stunning candor. . . . Harrison s sterling and staggering essays of fear, psychotic selfishness, abuse, betrayal, love, caregiving, and loyalty are resounding examples of how pain and anguish can be alchemized into art. "Booklist" (starred review)
""
Potent . . . Harrison meditates on family as unit and concept to highlight the pain, beauty, and complexity that necessarily features in such relationships. . . . Her willingness to be vulnerable is awe-inspiring. That, combined with exacting, lyrical language, make the collection hard to put down. Readers overcoming the psychic pain of their own traumatic pasts may find comfort in these pages, a reminder that they are not alone. "Library Journal" (starred review)
"True Crimes, " a memoir in essays, is a beautifully written and wonderful book about almost everything that means anything in life: love, family, loss and betrayal, death, joy. It is heartbreaking, funny, direct, elliptical, and somehow pulls a provocative healing thread of meaning from generation to generation, from husband to wife, and from life to death to life again. Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
In these essays, Kathryn Harrison approaches her own past as a mystery at once elusive and unshakable and excavates its nuances with tender rigor. Her memories emerge less like artifacts and more like luminous veins of quicksilver, constantly diverging and reconnecting. Her voice is charged by a capacious intuition that feels clear-eyed and sharply etched but always generous, full of compassion for the family that raised her and the damage they did. There is difficulty in these pages, along with playfulness, wonder, and deep wisdom about how we love, how we harm, and how intertwined these forms of intimacy might be. Leslie Jamison
With its sharp, haunting portraits, this gorgeous and unsettling book is like the most honest family album ever. Kathryn Harrison is not afraid to plumb the darkness of family life, to look at the rage, panic, and resentments entangled with love: Her reminiscences are vivid and unforgettable. Katie Roiphe
Kathryn Harrison is known as a strong writer frank, unsentimental, her tough-minded prose daring us to doubt its honesty. "True Crimes" is true to form, scorchingly candid but also tender: She writes about her marriage, her children, her in-laws, her mother even her dog with love, knowing how necessary that emotion is, and how elusive. James Atlas"
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About Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison has written the novels "Thicker Than Water, Exposure, Poison, The Binding Chair, The Seal Wife, Envy, "and "Enchantments. "Her autobiographical work includes "The Kiss, Seeking Rapture, The Road to Santiago, The Mother Knot, "and "True Crimes." She has written two biographies, "Saint Therese of Lisieux "and "Joan of Arc, "and a book of true crime, "While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder of a Family. "She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the novelist Colin Harrison."
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Rating details

214 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 13% (28)
4 31% (67)
3 43% (91)
2 10% (22)
1 3% (6)
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