Fierce Attachments: A Memoir
  • Fierce Attachments: A Memoir
  • Fierce Attachments: A Memoir
ISBN: 0374529965
EAN13: 9780374529963
Language: English
Release Date: Sep 1, 2005
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 0.7" H x 8.2" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

Vivian Gornick's Fierce Attachments--hailed by the New York Times for the renowned feminist author's mesmerizing, thrilling truths within its pages--has been selected by the publication's book critics as the #1 Best Memoir of the Past 50 Years.

In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called the prinicpal crux of female despair the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond.

Born and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of urban peasants, Gornick grows up in a household dominated by her intelligent but uneducated mother's romantic depression over the early death of her husband. Next door lives Nettie, an attractive widow whose calculating sensuality appeals greatly to Vivian. These women with their opposing models of femininity continue, well into adulthood, to affect Gornick's struggle to find herself in love and in work.

As Gornick walks with her aged mother through the streets of New York, arguing and remembering the past, each wins the reader's admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her courage and tenacity in Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (9)

5
  |   9  reviews
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4
   A roller coaster ride for mothers and daughters
Searing memories, extreme writing, leaves the reader breathless and with very mixed feelings about this fine self- and other revelation. Rather, the telling heightens the understanding of any mother or daughter about common issues that affect us all. I found it inspired on my part much thoughtfulness. But privacy falls victim. Much more akin to the daughter than the mother, and quite horrified by some of the mother's actions, I sympathized with what would have been very difficult for her to read. And yes, other reviewers have said that the book presents both the mother and the daughter's sides of the story. You don 't even have to be Jewish, though familiarity with the culture of the Gornick childhood helps a lot.
 
4
   Mothers and Daughters, Women in New York, A Walk
This book brings these elements to life in a way that Gornick can only bring. She finds the fresh and bold details and casts them in a new light, causing the reader to consider things as if seen under a naked light bulb, without the haggle or allure that one might desire. Gornick is so balanced in studying her relationship with others, especially her mother, but with everyone, that we see her flaws and shortcomings in this naked light, just as we see the shortcomings of others. Furthermore, she is just as quick to see beauty and kindness in others, even those with whom she has an ongoing feud. This balance, this beautiful telling of the unfolding of thirty some years, is what keeps us turning the pages. Her life is laid bare, along with the attachments she has made, and most importantly she has known from the time she was a young girl until she reaches into a later middle age. This is a masterpiece of its own.
 
5
   Go, Gornick!
Rather than love, Fierce attaches attachments. I had so much fun reading Gornick, of whom I had no idea what she was doing since reading her early feminist rants in the Village Voice in the 1970s, to find out that we have so much in common, a straight female bartender in a male gay bar, whatnot. This changing electric city has got this beautiful by the balls, the joys and the sadness.
 
5
   a wonderful cogent memoir
Vivian Gornick's life as a teenager in the Bronx is described vividly in this book. The child of a young and depressed woman, widowed herself strongly, describes their intimate relationship and its clash of values. In its heyday, Gornick was a feminist and journalist for the Village Voice, even though this experience does not appear here ; at the time, it meant what it meant to be a woman writer. This is a story of contrasting choices and their implications, as well as their sacrifices. As the title reminds us, it is the story of shared attachments to family and a calling as both deeply felt and conflicted. An admirable, multi-layered book.
 
5
   Una unión indisoluble
El lenguaje de este libro is muy rico en matáforas nuevas, inusitadas, reveladoras. Pero lo que fascina en su lectura es la motivación de crear esas metáforas la Fuerza de la unión entre madre e hija, una unión que nicker je ha incapacidad de la Hija de defender su derecho a ser su propia persona.
 
5
   Excellent memoir from publishing giant
I wish I could read it sooner. The story of Gornick is compelling and her skill in bringing her mother's voice to life in the narrative is something that every writer would love to emulate. I've begun recommending this book to my writing students and my friends. It is a fantastic read.
 
4
   almost the best
i love memoirs and this is one of the best. i love the way so much can be expressed in just a few simple but deep observations. Sometimes, i think that memoirs for autobiographies are mistaken in which the reader wants to know everything in the author's plot line, but a good memoir is not just that. The only reason I changed this from five stars to a four star is that i felt the section about her personal relationships was rushed and not written in the way she wrote about growing up or about her mother. i felt that the memoir condensed things when it came to explaining her relationships instead of inviting us into the moment, as was often the case when she wrote about time spent with her mother.
 
1
   so disappointed
Considered the number 1 best memoir of the New York Times by really ''. The description of life in New York City, the tenements, the relationships among the tenants well done. But spirals into such hysterics and downers that I wish I had not ordered this book.
 
5
   The Best
Simply put, the best memoir I ever read. Not a word that isn 't revelatory, not a moment that isn 't essential.
 
1