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Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir by Margaux Fragoso
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Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir (edition 2011)

by Margaux Fragoso (Author)

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3562244,453 (3.69)8
Member:selfnoise
Title:Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir
Authors:Margaux Fragoso (Author)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), Edition: First Edition, 336 pages
Collections:2017 Reading Project, Your library
Rating:****
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Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

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    The Chronology of Water: A Memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch (poetontheone)
    poetontheone: Another memoir of a woman attempting to forge her own identity in the face of trauma.
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English (19)  Dutch (3)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Margaux met Peter at a neighborhood swimming pool; they played together and became friends. He was 51 and she was seven. Margaux's father was critical and controlling and her mother, who had mental problems, was happy to take her to Peter's house for visits so she could get away from her husband. She had no idea that things became physical between them when Margaux was nine. Their relationship lasted for years, until Peter's suicide. This is a memoir of it. It's complicated, interesting, moving.

As she got older she became almost completely isolated from people her age, spending all her time with Peter, alienated from her father who had made it clear she was a disappointment and from her mother who was in and out of mental hospitals. He was the only person who cared about her. But when she was interested in having a boyfriend he was pouty and unhappy. The balance switched so that she had the power to stay in their private world or break out.

Throughout, she doesn't ask for vindication or revenge or even sympathy, just shows us her feelings. I respect that. The latter parts were hard for me because of resonances in my own but I have nothing but respect for her writing. ( )
1 vote piemouth | Aug 19, 2017 |
Many editorial reviews of this memoir are quite critical of it, saying that it fails to convey a lesson and that it does not condemn as harshly as it should. Some even go so far as to compliment her style, while derisively claiming that she's been made schizophrenic by the abuse and that this is reflected in the work. To use Fragoso's mother's mental illness as a slight against her and her writing is low enough, but it also misses the point of the work. She attempts, bravely, to convey the psychology of her abuser, to show and not tell us how Peter manipulated and deceived her and everyone around them in order to prolong and intensify, his sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse of her from the time she was eight to the time she was, incredibly, twenty two. Similarly, she puts us in the minds of her various selves through these ages, as she grew up through this ongoing abuse. She takes us through her own journey, and that is perhaps harder for a reader to deal with than to be constantly reminded by the present voice of the realizations and truths that are held by the survivor.

A reader wants to be assured that an abuse survivor has triumphed, rather than inhabit how they felt before that triumph. Fragoso has written a memoir that through its subtly woven narrative demands empathy rather than sympathy, that asks for recognition rather than pity. That makes this a difficult book to read, and one could only imagine then how difficult it was to write, to inhabit the horror of your past and turn it into poetry that is literary, lyrical, and unflinching. ( )
3 vote poetontheone | Jun 9, 2016 |
An excellent read. Horribly scary in that it makes a pedophile human. Naked and compelling it was not an easy read. I can't say I enjoyed the book because that would almost make me feel complicit in the molestation. I don't feel that the molestation was the only thing that really affected this woman though. Her mother was a little crazy, her dad macho and distant...I recommend this book. ( )
  bookwormteri | Sep 4, 2015 |
At a public swimming pool in Union City, New Jersey Margaux was 7 years old when she met 51-year-old Peter. Margaux’s family life was so dysfunctional and Peter seemed so “fun”, hence that chance meeting became a relationship lasting 15 years, until the time of Peter’s death by suicide. It would seem like such a nice story except for the fact that Peter was a pedophile.

This book was difficult to read. It nauseated me. It made me angry. The depiction of Margaux’s father hit such a personal nerve that I had to close the book a few times and walk away from it. Peter made my skin crawl. Yet I kept reading. I would not have if this had been a work of fiction, but this was Ms. Fargoso’s personal account of what can happen when a child slips through the cracks and ends up in an adoring stranger’s basement.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
This book should come with a label: Reader Discretion is Advised. I'm not sorry I read it but it was far more graphic than I expected. Exceptionally well written, however. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
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Book description
Op een zomerdag in het buurtzwembad zwemt Margaux Fragoso naar de veel oudere Peter Curran toe en vraagt hem om met haar te spelen. Zij is zeven, hij is eenenvijftig. Wanneer Peter haar en haar moeder uitnodigt om bij hem thuis langs te komen, treft het meisje een waar kinderparadijs aan van exotische dieren, boeken, muziek en magisch speelgoed. Haar moeder is niet in staat om goed voor Margaux te zorgen en leeft in een constante angst voor haar agressieve echtgenoot. Ze is Peter dankbaar voor alle aandacht die hij aan haar dochter besteedt en binnen de kortste keren brengt Margaux al haar tijd met hem door.

Gaandeweg neemt hij de rol aan van Margaux' vriend, vader en minnaar. Hij is charmant en afstotelijk, liefhebbend en manipulatief. Margaux transformeert van een vrolijk kind met een levendige fantasie in een verdoofde jonge vrouw met zelfmoordneigingen. Uiteindelijk, wanneer zij tweeëntwintig is, pleegt Peter – ziek en vol schuldgevoel – zelfmoord.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374277621, Hardcover)

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
Tiger, Tiger is a Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction title for 2011
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fifty-one. When Peter invites her and her mother to his house, the little girl finds a child’s paradise of exotic pets and an elaborate backyard garden. Her mother, beset by mental illness and overwhelmed by caring for Margaux, is grateful for the attention Peter lavishes on her, and he creates an imaginative universe for her, much as Lewis Carroll did for his real-life Alice.

In time, he insidiously takes on the role of Margaux’s playmate, father, and lover. Charming and manipulative, Peter burrows into every aspect of Margaux’s life and transforms her from a child fizzing with imagination and affection into a brainwashed young woman on the verge of suicide. But when she is twenty-two, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of sixty-six.

Told with lyricism, depth, and mesmerizing clarity, Tiger, Tiger vividly illustrates the healing power of memory and disclosure. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a young girl in free fall and conveys to readers—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fragoso's gut-wrenching memoir of sexual abuse--unflinchingly yet exquisitely rendered as she experienced them.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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