Vivian Gornick





Vivian Gornick


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Date of Birth: 1935

Vivian Gornick is an American critic, essayist, and memoirist. For many years she wrote for the Village Voice. She currently teaches writing at The New School. For the 2007-2008 academic year, she will be a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. She caused a controversy when she said that she had invented parts of Fierce Attachments, her largely autobiographical work.

Average rating: 3.72 · 5,919 ratings · 858 reviews · 28 distinct works · Similar authors
Fierce Attachments: A Memoir

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3.86 avg rating — 975 ratings — published 1987 — 12 editions
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The Situation and the Story...

3.82 avg rating — 836 ratings — published 2001 — 5 editions
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The Odd Woman and the City:...

3.90 avg rating — 658 ratings — published 2015 — 6 editions
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Approaching Eye Level

3.85 avg rating — 137 ratings — published 1996 — 4 editions
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Emma Goldman: Revolution as...

3.68 avg rating — 130 ratings — published 2011 — 6 editions
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The Solitude of Self: Think...

3.90 avg rating — 105 ratings — published 2005 — 4 editions
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The End of The Novel of Love

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3.85 avg rating — 89 ratings — published 1997 — 4 editions
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The Men in My Life

3.82 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 2008 — 4 editions
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Women in Science: Then and Now

3.86 avg rating — 29 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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The Romance of American Com...

4.25 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 1978 — 2 editions
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More books by Vivian Gornick…

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“Everyone used to seem so grown up," I say. "Nobody does anymore. Look at us. Forty, fifty years ago we would have been our parents. Who are we now?" ...

"They passed," Leonard says, "that's all." Fifty years ago you entered a closet marked 'marriage.' In the closet was a double set of clothes, so stiff they could stand up by themselves. A woman stepped into a dress called 'wife' and the man stepped into a suit called 'husband.' And that was it. They disappeared inside the clothes. Today, we don't pass. We're standing here naked. That's all."

He strikes a match and holds it to his cigarette.

"I'm not the right person for this life," I say.

"Who is?" he says, exhaling in my direction.”
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir

“I began to realize what everyone in the world knows and routinely forgets: that to be loved sexually is to be loved not for one's actual self but for one's ability to arouse desire in the other...Only the thoughts in one's mind or intuitions of the spirit can attract permanently...”
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir

“It was through the discovery and exploration of the unconscious that Freud made his major discoveries, chief among them that from birth to death we are, every last one of us, divided against ourselves. We both want to grow up and don't want to grow up; we hunger for sexual pleasure, we dread sexual pleasure; we hate our own aggressions---anger, cruelty, the need to humiliate---yet they derive from the grievances we are least willing to part with. Our very suffering is a source of both pain and reassurance. What Freud found most difficult to cure in his patients was the resistance to being cured.”
Vivian Gornick



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