HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Borrowed Finery: A Memoir

by Paula Fox

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
351853,278 (3.78)39
Born in the 1920s to nomadic, bohemian parents, Paula Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. Her parents, however, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, "part ally, part betrayer." Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. Never sharing more than a few moments with his daughter, Fox's father allows her to be shuttled from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative's sugarcane plantation, to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood's seedy margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the "borrowed finery" of the title of this astonishing memoir of one writer's unusual beginnings, which was instantly recognized as a modern classic.… (more)
  1. 00
    Fierce Attachments: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Another memoir with troubled family relationships.
  2. 01
    A Servant's Tale by Paula Fox (cometahalley)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 39 mentions

English (6)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
so many people, so many locations, so many names--somewhat hard to follow. some sections move very slow, others zoom by. ( )
  mahallett | Nov 20, 2018 |
Original brilliance ( )
  Faradaydon | Nov 8, 2012 |
This is an unusual memoir. although she presents a mainly linear narrative, Paula Fox offers glimpses of her life seemingly as they occur to her. The book begins when she is 17, poor, working in a clothes shop. This little vignette sets the tone for the whole book as she offers the reader facts about herself: she was poor; she has just one suit, too warm for LA; it was a discount clothes store. But these facts, although related, are not really what she is telling us - they are more an oblique commentary on her life, or on the people she meets. Sometimes what she wants to convey with this sideways look is obvious, sometimes it is obscure and begs for another, closer, reading.
These episodes, added into the narrative of her life, have the effect of true memory - truggering as it does rememberance of other events, feelings or thoughts. It is this technique that makes Borrowed Finery such a fine book. It feels like a trip inside real memory: there is a sketched-in route, but unexpected landmarks that to the casual eye seem almost out of place, but on reflection prove to be the very crux of the matter. A book to treasure and re-read. ( )
  Goldengrove | Mar 23, 2011 |
Fox writes with a minimalist style that manages to convey the emotion of a child and the insight of an adult. Her writing is seemingly effortless, crafted in such a way that it's easy to read, yet echoes long in the head and the heart.

Fox's tale is a fascinating one, including frequent brushes with celebrity. Underneath, though, is the tragedy of a girl with rootless, careless parents who rarely gets a dress of her own, instead always surviving with hand-me-downs. Sparingly written and evocative, this book captivated me to the end, where she gives up a child for adoption. ( )
  Girl_Detective | Apr 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Born in the 1920s to nomadic, bohemian parents, Paula Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. Her parents, however, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, "part ally, part betrayer." Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. Never sharing more than a few moments with his daughter, Fox's father allows her to be shuttled from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative's sugarcane plantation, to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood's seedy margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the "borrowed finery" of the title of this astonishing memoir of one writer's unusual beginnings, which was instantly recognized as a modern classic.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.78)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 2
2.5
3 9
3.5 4
4 20
4.5 5
5 7

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,931,742 books! | Top bar: Always visible