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Skin Game : A Memoir by Caroline Kettlewell
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Skin Game : A Memoir (edition 2000)

by Caroline Kettlewell

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278561,024 (3.31)15
Member:jeidai
Title:Skin Game : A Memoir
Authors:Caroline Kettlewell
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2000), Paperback
Collections:Biography, Your library
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Skin Game: A Memoir by Caroline Kettlewell

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Angsty teenage girls will love this ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
I got to chapter 15 and couldn't take it anymore. It's not that this was a poorly written book just not my style. I don't like books where I have to think to much about the language used in order to understand what is being said. It was written in way to academic style for me. Soooo on to the next. ( )
  justablondemoment | Sep 21, 2014 |
As you grow up, you're taught that every scar tells a story and I believe that Caroline Kettlewell has proved that point.

This book is a remarkable memoir of growing up with self-mutilation. She tells of how it looked, felt, etc. It can get a bit graphic, but sometimes, you need the graphic stuff in order to understand the feelings.

I think that this book is exquisite. I think every self-injurer could identify with the feelings that Caroline went through. I think that non-'cutters' could identify with some of the feelings, too.

This book gives cutters a feeling of not being alone and non-cutters a way to understand what it's like to hurt so much that you have to hurt yourself.

There aren't enough words to describe how awesome this book is. I just hope that it helps you to understand how serious self-mutilation really is. ( )
  janersm | Jul 1, 2014 |
Fantastic book about the journey of a teenage cutter. ( )
  coffeesucker | Dec 29, 2006 |
I read Kettelwell's "Skin Game" years ago when I was 16, and going through a rough patch in my life. It only took me about two weeks to read it. I have to say, I didn't like in the beginning when she refer to her scars as "Sins" but I did like how she threw in the whole Southern experience, "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Gone with the Wind," I'm a sucker for that culture.
Kettlewell writing is a little strong for me. She made me, the reader, feel benith her; She uses such words expressing her cutting that to the mind of an English teacher would understand, but to the simple minded reader...she needed to use small words...She jumps from first person point of view to third persons.

She writes of her life as a long script. She is the actor and this is her play. After a while, it becomes boring and tedious.

In the end, she brought everything together, when she writes "I stop cutting because I always could have stop cutting; that the pain and inelegant truth. No Matter how compelling the urge, the act itself was always a choice. I had no power over flood tite of emotions that drove me to that brink, but I had the power to decide whether not to step over. Eventually I decided not to......You have to make your journey, and bear its scars" I think that passage is so true and cleverly written, one of the best parts of the entire book.

I don't recommend this book for people dealing with self harm. Chances are, it won't help you at all. ( )
  HeatherLee | Sep 6, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Epigraph
Tommorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.---Ralph Waldo Emerson
Skin has a good memory. Skin is like the ground we walk every day; you can read a whole history in it if you know how to look.
Dedication
To my mother, with love and appreciation
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One February day in the seventh grade, I was apprehended in the girls' bathroom in school, trying to cut my arm with my Swiss Army knife.
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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)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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