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In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad's Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force. Look for special features inside, including an interview with Colum McCann. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com From the Trade Paperback edition.
'Half my life ago, I killed a girl.' So begins acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss' Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. The police assured him there was nothing he could have done to avoid hitting Celine's swerving bike, but for half his life Strauss has grappled with desperate feelings of remorse and self-blame. Here he lays bare his history – collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case – and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough. Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past. 'More than simply brave, it is a searingly self-disciplined work of literature, and of self-examination … After all that admirable work and all that attentive detail, when he does finally reach a place of cautious hope, the impact is staggering and unforgettable.' — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love 'Precise, elegantly written, fresh, wise, and very sad. Rich and meaningful, the care and thought that have gone into every line of Half a Life are indicative not only of a very talented writer, but of a proper human being.' — Nick Hornby 'At the center of this elegant, painful, stunningly honest memoir thrums a question fundamental to what it means to be human: What do we do with what we've been given?' — New York Times Book Review 'A mesmerising memoir by a skilled writer.' — Herald Sun 'Crisp and understated... This meditation on loss and remorse must have been a nightmare to write but is subtle, moving, and quietly brilliant.' — The Age 'Half a Life inspires admiration, sentence by sentence…This artfully and simply presented book could be read in a few hours, but its intensity commands more attention. This is memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book that transcends a single misstep.' — Chicago Tribune (Editor's Pick)
'Half my life ago, I killed a girl.' So begins acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss' Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. The police assured him there was nothing he could have done to avoid hitting Celine's swerving bike, but for half his life Strauss has grappled with desperate feelings of remorse and self-blame. Here he lays bare his history collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough. Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past. 'More than simply brave, it is a searingly self-disciplined work of literature, and of self-examination After all that admirable work and all that attentive detail, when he does finally reach a place of cautious hope, the impact is staggering and unforgettable.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love 'Precise, elegantly written, fresh, wise, and very sad. Rich and meaningful, the care and thought that have gone into every line of Half a Life are indicative not only of a very talented writer, but of a proper human being.' Nick Hornby 'At the center of this elegant, painful, stunningly honest memoir thrums a question fundamental to what it means to be human: What do we do with what we've been given?' New York Times Book Review 'A mesmerising memoir by a skilled writer.' Herald Sun 'Crisp and understated... This meditation on loss and remorse must have been a nightmare to write but is subtle, moving, and quietly brilliant.' The Age 'Half a Life inspires admiration, sentence by sentenceThis artfully and simply presented book could be read in a few hours, but its intensity commands more attention. This is memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book that transcends a single misstep.' Chicago Tribune (Editor's Pick)
Jill Ciment weaves an unforgettable tale of survival, compassion, and courage, in this haunting recollection of a child surrounded by confusion and madness, and her struggle to find an identity. Half a Life traces Jill Ciment's family from Toronto to the California desert - -a landscape and culture so alien to her father that the last vestiges of sanity leave him. As madness engulfs him he becomes increasingly brutal and the family, grasping at survival, throws him out the door. Having no understanding that he has done anything wrong, he first lives in his car at the end of the driveway, waiting to be invited back in, before exiting completely from their lives. Poor and fatherless, Ciment spends the years from age fourteen to seventeen, as a gang girl, a professional forger, a stripper, a corporate spy, and finally, a high school dropout who by age eighteen has seduced her art teacher, a man nearly three decades her senior and bluffed her way into college in an effort to shape a future. Ciment is cutting, insightful and clearly unapologetic as she details the confusion and bravado of a child heroine whose dreams and tenacity allow her finally, to create the life she has been so desperately seeking.
Paul Monette’s National Book Award–winning memoir hailed as a classic coming-out story Paul Monette grew up all-American, Catholic, overachieving . . . and closeted. As a child of the 1950s, a time when a kid suspected of being a “homo” would routinely be beaten up, Monette kept his secret throughout his adolescence. He wrestled with his sexuality for the first thirty years of his life, priding himself on his ability to “pass” for straight. The story of his journey to adulthood and to self-acceptance with grace and honesty, this intimate portrait of a young man’s struggle with his own desires is witty, humorous, and deeply felt. Before his death of complications from AIDS in 1995, Monette was an outspoken activist crusading for gay rights. Becoming a Man shows his courageous path to stand up for his own right to love and be loved. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.
"From Cat Marnell, 'New York's enfant terrible' (The Telegraph), a ... memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs"--
Autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards. With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards lived the original rock and roll life. He tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane; his listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones' first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as outlaw folk hero, creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." He discusses falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones, his tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction, as well as falling in love with Patti Hansen, and his bitter estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. He talks about his marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos; the road that goes on forever.

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