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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 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)
'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)
From the author of the best-selling King Leopold's Ghost, this haunting and deeply honest memoir tells of Adam Hochschild's conflicted relationship with his father, the head of a multinational mining corporation. The author lyrically evokes his privileged childhood on an Adirondack estate, a colorful uncle who was a pioneer aviator and fighter ace, and his first explorations of the larger world he encountered as he came of age in the tumultuous 1960s. But above all this is a story of a father and his only son and of the unexpected peace finally made between them.
The woman abducted at age 11 by a man and woman who subsequently held her hostage and sexually abused her for 18 years discusses her life. Reprint.
A child of the 1950s from a small New England town, "perfect Paul" earns straight A's and shines in social and literary pursuits, all the while keeping a secret -- from himself and the rest of the world. Struggling to be, or at least to imitate, a straight man, through Ivy League halls of privilege and bohemian travels abroad, loveless intimacy and unrequited passion, Paul Monette was haunted, and finally saved, by a dream of "the thing I'd never even seen: two men in love and laughing." Searingly honest, witty, and humane, Becoming a Man is the definitive coming-out story in the classic coming-of-age genre.
After undergoing gall bladder surgery at age twenty-three, Jennette Fulda decided it was time to lose some weight. Actually, more like half her weight. At the time, Jennette weighed 372 pounds. Jennette was not born fat. But, by fifth grade, her response to a school questionnaire asking “what would you change about your appearance” was “I would be thinner.” Sound familiar? Half-Assed is the captivating and incredibly honest story of Jennette’s journey to get in shape, lose weight, and change her life. From the beginning—dusting off her never-used treadmill and steering clear of the donut shop—to the end with her goal weight in sight, Jennette wows readers with her determined persistence to shed pounds and the ability to maintain her ever-present sense of self.

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