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True Crimes by Kathryn Harrison
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True Crimes

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True Crimes by Kathryn Harrison
Apr 05, 2016 | ISBN 9780812988505

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  • Apr 05, 2016 | ISBN 9780812988505

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“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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