Richard Gilbert's Reviews > Fierce Attachments: A Memoir

Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick
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Sep 30, 2013

it was amazing

Gornick’s truths blaze off the page, her portraits of others transfix, her sentences and rhythms delight.

What she remembers, she says, of growing up in a Jewish tenement in the Bronx, is a building full of women:

"Shrewd, volatile, unlettered, they performed on a Dreiserian scale. There would be years of apparent calm, then suddenly an outbreak of panic and wildness: two or three lives scarred (perhaps ruined), and the turmoil would subside. Once again: sullen quiet, erotic torpor, the ordinariness of daily denial. And I—the girl growing up in their midst, being made in their image—I absorbed them as I would chloroform on a cloth laid against my face."

What a metaphor! It’s stunning, and resonates throughout the book.

Gornick's memoir is her struggle for consciousness.
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September 30, 2013 – Shelved
September 30, 2013 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret I am enjoying looking at your reviews as I am a fan of thoughtful memoirs and you seem to like the same kind as I do. I follow you but your updates don't appear on my feed. I am "stealing" book ideas from you. Blessings!


Richard Gilbert Margaret wrote: "I am enjoying looking at your reviews as I am a fan of thoughtful memoirs and you seem to like the same kind as I do. I follow you but your updates don't appear on my feed. I am "stealing" book ide..."

Thanks so much, Margaret! I am not sure how the feeds work, or really anything on this site, but I do like posting reviews. And memoirs are special to me, too.


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