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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)
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.
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.
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.
The patient is an ascetically pretty 15½-year-old white female. She is intelligent, fearful, extremely anxious, and depressed. Her rage is poorly controlled and inappropriately expressed. Diagnostic Impression: Program for social recovery in a supportive and structured environment appears favorable. Life Inside In 1967, three months before her sixteenth birthday, Mindy Lewis was sent to a state psychiatric hospital by court order. She had been skipping school, smoking pot, and listening to too much Dylan. Her mother, at a loss for what else to do, decided that Mindy remain in state custody until she turned eighteen and became a legal, law-abiding, "healthy" adult. Life Inside is Mindy's story about her coming-of-age during those tumultuous years. In honest, unflinching prose, she paints a richly textured portrait of her stay on a psychiatric ward -- the close bonds and rivalries among adolescent patients, the politics and routines of institutional life, the extensive use of medication, and the prevalence of life-altering misdiagnoses. But this memoir also takes readers on a journey of recovery as Lewis describes her emergence into adulthood and her struggle to transcend the stigma of institutionalization. Bracingly told, and often terrifying in its truths, Life Inside is a life-affirming memoir that informs as it inspires.

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