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The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Susanna…
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The Camera My Mother Gave Me (2001)

by Susanna Kaysen

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247946,499 (3.21)16

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. Pretty dark in comedy but it was nicely written nonetheless. ( )
  thursbest | Jul 22, 2017 |
All I really have to say about this book is that it is a very acquired taste (which almost made me gag to type that phrase..).

Kaysen is a decent writer but seems like she would be really miserable to know in person, so I'll just continue to be grateful that I only know her through her words.

Fair warning to everyone: Always read the inside jacket description before you purchase a book. This title is very misleading.. ;)

It's about her downtown lady parts ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
Not sure how the title of this book matches the content but it's probably not a great book for a guy to read. Unless of course you want 150+ pages of reading about a women's problems with her vagina. In some respects it's probably good to know the issues. The book is about Susanna Kaysen and her struggle when sexual pleasure is replaced with chronic pain. The real issue is all the frustration she endures in trying to identify the cause of the pain. From several Physicians to acupuncture and new wave healing. The other struggle is trying to please her boyfriend who wants to be compassionate but is overcome with his sexual desires. Interesting book. ( )
  realbigcat | Jul 22, 2013 |
this just sounds highly unpleasant reading material
  pam.enser | Apr 1, 2013 |
Well, this is truly something completely different from anything I've read recently. The author's vagina hurts. That's what this book is about.

She goes to several doctors, tries biofeedback, antidepressants, creams, and alternative health treatments -- nothing works. And this affects her relationship with her live-in boyfriend. It also affects her perception of herself.

Susanna Kaysen is a good writer who managed to keep me interested in her plight. Her frustration and suffering come through without being overwhelmingly depressing; in fact, the book was funny at times.

And, in the end, she still has a sore vagina. It's better, but not "cured". And learning to live with imperfections and suffering is something we all have to do. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 31, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
In memoryof my mother, Annette Neutra Kaysen
First words
If you have a vagina you know that most of the time it is without sensation.
Quotations
Because the vagina is the organ that looks to the future. The vagina is potential. It's not emptiness, it's possibility, and possibility was exactly what was missing from my life. (page 127)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679763430, Paperback)

This isn't a book you'll want to pull out on a crowded train, with clinical terms like clitoris and vulvologist, not to mention earthier ones like the F word, on virtually every page to attract the startled attention of the passenger in the next seat. Bluntly describing her yearlong effort to deal with a searing pain in her vagina, Susanna Kaysen doesn't stint on the details of what this malady did to her relationship with her boyfriend (nothing good), nor is she forgiving of the callousness and stupidity displayed by some of her doctors and various alternative health practitioners. Yet her appalling saga is compulsively readable, thanks to Kaysen's propulsive prose and sharp dialogue. She's particularly good at capturing the way people talk about their ailments over dinner and in the middle of other activities. Conversations with friends ramble from her medical problem to tiger maple furniture in an utterly convincing way, and one darkly funny scene shows a pal urging Kaysen to buy a coral necklace following a particularly horrid visit to the doctor because, "You have to get a nice thing after that appointment." Kaysen's laconic humor keeps the book from seeming self-pitying, though her terseness tends to muffle its emotional impact; she expresses her emotions without really conveying them to the reader in any depth. Nonetheless, the pared-down candor that made her portrait of mental illness so gripping in Girl, Interrupted also distinguishes this account of a decidedly physical affliction. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The Camera My Mother Gave Me takes us through Susanna Kaysen's often comic, sometimes surreal encounters with all kinds of doctors - internists, gynecologists, "alternative health" experts - as well as with her boyfriend and her friends, when suddenly, inexplicably, "something went wrong" with her vagina."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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