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Skin Game : A Memoir (edition 2000)
Skin Game: A Memoir by Caroline Kettlewell
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312263937, Paperback)A number of recent books by journalists and therapists have probed the social and psychological forces behind the alarming practice of self-mutilation; this unflinching memoir tells readers what it feels like. Caroline Kettlewell made her first attempt at age 12 with a Swiss Army knife, too dull to perform satisfactorily, but she quickly graduated to razor blades. "There was a very fine, an elegant pain," she writes of her initiation. "In the razor's wake, the skin melted away ... then the blood welled up ... the chaos in my head spun itself into a silk of silence." Describing her tense but not unusually difficult youth, the author doesn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out why she was so unhappy, concentrating instead on making palpable her sense of dread and terror of being out of control, emotions relieved by the act of cutting. Some readers may wish for more self-analysis, but others will find Kettlewell's austere prose and sensibility refreshing. "I kept cutting because it worked. When I cut I felt better, " she explains. "I stopped cutting because I always could have stopped cutting." Not the fanciest way to put it, but those sentences, like the entire book, have the cadences of "the plain and inelegant truth." --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:15 -0400)
As a young girl, Kettlewell discovered that the only way to find relief from overpowering feelings of self-consciousness and alienation was to physically harm herself. She has become the first person to tell her own story in a book about living with and overcoming the disorder known as cutting. Caroline Kettlewell's autobiography reveals a girl whose feelings of pain and alienation led her to seek relief in physically hurting herself, from age twelve into her twenties. Skin Game employs clear language and candid reflection to grant general readers as well as students an uncensored profile of a complex and unsettling disorder. "[This] mesmeric memoir examines the obsession with cutting that is believed to afflict somewhere around two million Americans, nearly all of them female," Francine Prose noted in Elle. "[Kettlewell's] language soars and its intensity deepens whenever she is recalling the lost joys and the thrilling sensation of sharp steel against her tender skin."
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