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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080213582X, Paperback)When Laurie Stone won the 1996 National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing, her impassioned acceptance speech describing new trends in autobiographical writing sketched a blueprint for this collection. "Memoirs of Hurt, Rage, and Desire" is the subtitle's entirely accurate characterization of eight essays written in a style that Stone dubs "post-therapeutic." What does that mean? A flinty disinclination to comfort is the most notable trait: these writers bare psychic and physical wounds most of us would hesitate to discuss with anyone but our therapist, and they disdain the easy reassurance of tabloid TV, which assumes that getting everything out in the open will make it OK. The pseudonymous Terminator's "Baby Doll," a horrific account of his battered childhood, is the collection's most disturbing entry; Stone's "Hump" is the most conventional (overbearing mother, some consensual, not-too-heavy sadomasochistic sex). Book authors Catherine Texier (Breakup), Lois Gould (Mommy Dressing), Peter Trachtenberg (Seven Tattoos), and Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight) are represented with shorter pieces just as bitingly candid as their full-length works. Not for the sentimental or the squeamish, these stories are compulsively readable and hard to forget. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)
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