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Preview — The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison
We meet at airports. We meet in cities where we've never been before. We meet where no one will recognize us.
A "man of God" is how someone described my father to me. I don 't remember who. Not my mother. I'm young enough that I take the words to mean he has magical properties and that he is good, better than other people.
With his hand under my chin, my father draws my face...more
I feel great respect for the bravery that went into writing it. Something bugs me which is that after all of that, she didn't go into the healing part of the trauma. Well, maybe that was the point. It was all so starkly written, which definitely gave you the impression of being there. You get it. The feeling of being stuck, of her body and mind freezing over--it's very visceral. I just also wante...more
This memoir is ... all the words that have been attributed to it. Lyrical at times, provocative, sad, haunting. It is deeply troubling, more than anything, and Harrison's willingness to dive right in and put her life - and her father's - on display is what lingers to trouble me now, years after her artful prose...more
The structure of The Kiss isn't always chronological, linear, o...more
We know that the author has control issues because she reveals that she has anorexi...more
It turns out that she did grow up without him in her life, but it's a stretch to call their affair consensual. It begins when Kathryn is 20 years old, meeting her father fo...more
Let me qualify that: this is a memoir of a tragic, life-wrecking incestuous affair between a father and daughter, so a "satisfying" read in this context doesn't mean a happy ending--there can't be a happy ending here, as Harrison gradually realizes; just an ending. But by "satisfying" I mean a sense of solid understanding and insight, a feeling like I had a glimpse into the heads of the people involved rather than just a front-row seat to the action. An...more
this memoir is amazing and terrifying. amazing because like I said, the courage it had to of taken to sit down and relive her past and put it out there for the world to read. terrifying for obvious reasons. how a father could seduce his daughter and completely take over not only her mind but her body and soul as well. it's... it's..sad and has to be extremely frightening and conf...more
As a genre, there seems to be no shortage of jaw-dropping, literary memoir: Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir, Running with Scissors, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, ad infinitum.
Memoirs are all the rage these days and I have read a few - but I’ve never read anything like The Kiss, by Kathryn Harrison. I’ve read a couple other books by Harrison and I now more fully understand some of the recurring themes in her novels (dysfunctional families, issues of love and the withholding of it, estrangement,...more
Technically, I believe the book is well-written and Ms. Harrison succeeded in engaging the reader's attention and maintaining it throughout. I've never read any of her other work so I don't know if this mem...more
It is her story of being born to teen parents who barely know each other, abandoned (physically and emotionally by her father and emotionally by her mother) raised by a very judgmental grandmother and a (thank goodness!) somewhat warm, caring grandfather -- and all the scars and needs she carries as a result o...more
Don’t get me wrong but wouldn’t the typical normal human reaction from being involved in a relationship of incest be shame and lack the crudeness required to self-promote it in any form?
Incest is such a manipulative, dirty word and ye...more
She has also written memoirs, The Kiss and The Mother Knot, a travel memoir, The Road To Santiago, a biography, Saint Therese Of Lisieux, and a collection of personal essays, Seeking Rapture.
Ms. Harrison is a frequent reviewer for The New York Times Book Review; her essay...more