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Fierce Attachments
Fierce Attachments: A Memoir | Vivian Gornick
13 posts | 6 read | 13 to read
In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called "the prinicpal crux of female despair": the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond. Born and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of "urban peasants," Gornick grows up in a household dominated by her intelligent but uneducated mother's romantic depression over the early death of her husband. Next door lives Nettie, an attractive widow whose calculating sensuality appeals greatly to Vivian. These women with their opposing models of femininity continue, well into adulthood, to affect Gornick's struggle to find herself in love and in work. As Gornick walks with her aged mother through the streets of New York, arguing and remembering the past, each wins the reader's admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her courage and tenacity in really talking to her mother about the most basic issues of their lives, and the still powerful and intuitively-wise old woman, who again and again proves herself her daughter's mother. Unsparing, deeply courageous, Fierce Attachments is one of the most remarkable documents of family feeling that has been written, a classic that helped start the memoir boom and remains one of the most moving examples of the genre.
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Bertha_Mason

The author is so fucking enamored of freud that when her mother told her (as an adult) about getting raped by the author's great-uncle as a child, the author accused her of enjoying it and lying about it. And recounted the exchange in this memoir as an example of her mother's ignorance and stubbornness. I need a boiling shower and a puke bucket. 😷🤢

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ephemeralwaltz
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Congratulations on your Litsy milestone @BarbaraBB and thanks for hosting this #SpotlightGiveaway! I am choosing one of my current reads because I haven't seen more than a few posts about this on Litsy. In this memoir from 1987, Gornick goes back and forth in time to explore her complicated relationship with her mother. I'm reading about her childhood and it's actually giving me 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' vibes. Her voice is honest and searing!

Kalalalatja Sounds great! 1y
ephemeralwaltz @Kalalalatja it is! Next up, her new memoir from 2015! 1y
BarbaraBB Oow this sounds really good. Thanks for participating! 💕 1y
49 likes1 stack add4 comments
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ephemeralwaltz
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Starting a new read by the pool: Vivian Gornick's memoirs! I've had this author recommended to me on many occasions and am glad to have finally gotten to her. This is a Catalan translated edition that contains Fierce Attachments (1987) and The Odd Woman and The City (2015), 30 years apart! It'll be interesting to read them together.

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Leftcoastzen
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#abbainaugust #mammamia I have posted this title before, it remains probably my all time favorite memoir.I love Vivian Gorniks writing anyway ,whatever she writes.This book is a wonderful conversation about a daughters relationship with her mother.Sometimes they are nearly at each other‘s throats,sometimes they find common ground. Highly recommended.

Reviewsbylola This sounds good! I‘m always on the hunt for great memoirs! 1y
Cinfhen The mom in this memoir sounds terrifying!! #MamaMia 😱 1y
Leftcoastzen @Reviewsbylola Vivian‘s description of the walks they take in Manhattan are wonderful as well. 1y
See All 11 Comments
Leftcoastzen @Cinfhen She is a real handful.Vivians struggles as a writer/feminist so interesting !She was a reporter for the Village Voice 1969 to 1977 ,interesting times. (edited) 1y
Meredith3 Sounds deep!!! 1y
squirrelbrain Stacked! 1y
ValerieAndBooks Stacking!! 1y
Mdargusch This definitely sounds like a mama mia book! 1y
emilyhaldi I already have this stacked!! Probably because of you 😄 1y
BooksForEmpathy Sounds so good!! 1y
batsy I want to read this! 1y
44 likes6 stack adds11 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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Linsy Great teapot! 2y
Leftcoastzen Fiestaware belonged to my grandma, thx. @Linsy 2y
43 likes2 comments
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ephemeralwaltz
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Another one from #WorldBookDay yesterday -- two of Vivan Gornick's books in one. I'm very excited to finally have a copy of this to read, I need to seriously up my feminist-writers game!! This Catalan edition is gorgeous 😍😍🌹🌹📚📚

Sophoclessweetheart What a prettycover x 2y
ephemeralwaltz @Wanderingwithwords it is a fabulous cover!! And 2 books in 1 🤓🤓 2y
68 likes2 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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#NovemberByTheNumbers I can‘t believe this book is #30 years old!Both mother & daughter are urban peasants but what do you do with a mother who walks up to strangers and says “This is my daughter,she hates me.”An interesting look at the mother/daughter relationship and the joys , sorrows, and the crush of humanity you deal with when you live in New York City. I love all her books but this one has a special place my heart for its fearlessness.

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MichelleRichmond
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"Finally a page. Then two pages..."

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MichelleRichmond

"Finally a page. Then two pages..."

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MichelleRichmond

"Finally a page. Then two pages..."

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MichelleRichmond

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MichelleRichmond

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MichelleRichmond