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“Reading Scratched gave me the feeling of standing very close to a blazing fire. It is that brilliant, that intense, and one of the finest explorations I know of what it means to be a woman and an artist.”—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend and Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction In a bold and brilliant memoir that reinvents the form, the acclaimed author of the novel Museum Pieces and the collection Mendocino Fire explores the ferocious desire for perfection which has shaped her writing life as well as her rich, dramatic, and constantly surprising personal life. Scratched is an intimate account of the uses a child, and the adult she becomes, will find for perfectionism and the role it will play in every part of her life. Elizabeth Tallent’s story begins in a hospital in mid-1950s suburban Washington, D.C., when her mother refuses to hold her newborn daughter, shocking behavior that baffles the nurses. Imagining her own mother’s perfectionist ideal at this critical moment, Elizabeth moves back and forth in time, juxtaposing moments in the past with the present in this innovative and spellbinding narrative. Elizabeth traces her journey from her early years in which she perceived herself as “the child whose flaws let disaster into an otherwise perfect family,” to her adulthood, when perfectionism came to affect everything. In the decade between 27 and 37, she publishes five literary books with Knopf and her short stories appear in The New Yorker. But this extraordinary start to her career is followed by twenty-two years of silence. She wrote, or rather published, nothing at all. Why? Scratched is the remarkable response to that question. Elizabeth’s early publications secure her a coveted teaching job at Stanford University. As she toggles between Palo Alto and the Mendocino coast where she lives, raises her son Gabriel, and pursues an important psychoanalysis, Elizabeth grapples with the perfectionism that has always been home to her. Eventually, she finds love and acceptance in the most unlikely place, and finally accepts an “as is” relationship with herself and others. Her final triumph is the writing of this memoir, filled with wit, humor, and heart, and unlike any other you will read. Scratched is a brave book that repeatedly searches for the emotional truth beneath the conventional surface of existence.
A Northern Irish wicked villain desperately looking for sympathy (Scratched); A Pakistani kid having arguments about Cricket with some Auld British Blokes (The Ninja Cricketer); A professional Con/Hitman telling (fictional?) episodes from his career (The Marcabru Chronicles).
A rare and absolutely enchanting look inside the Harvard of wild animal wranglers As is obvious to anyone who has read her most e-mailed New York Times article of 2006, "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage," Amy Sutherland knows a thing or two about animals. In Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched, she takes readers behind the gates of Moorpark Community College, where students are taught such skills as how to train a hyena to pirouette and coax a tiger to open wide for a vet exam. As she follows the faculty, student body, and four- footed teaching aides at Moorpark's Exotic Animal Training and Management program, Sutherland produces a true walk on the wild side, filled with wonder, comedy, occasional heartache, and transcendent beauty.
The resilience and frailty of the human heart lie at the core of this second short story collection from award-winning author, Amanda Huggins. These are stories filled with yearning and hope, the search for connection and the longing to escape.
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"What would you give to learn life's secrets?" O is on a life-changing journey of transformation and discovery, but she must first endure her self-induced sufferings and denials along the way. In a world consumed with greed, ego and fear O is forced to look deep within herself for the answers. "The Book of O" is an inspiring story of both fiction and nonfiction based on real-life events. It's a story submerged in symbolism, the mysteries of life, and the hidden messages that serve to guide our souls. With the banking and pharmaceutical industries serving as the playground for the characters, they are a reflection of our modern times and exemplify the need for change in every aspect of our lives. The unique graphic concept utilizes both colors and character names to emphasize the important symbolic nature of life itself and how it operates in our own lives. Insightful wisdoms underline the text and offer a deeper meaning to the complexity of the story. About the Author After forty-eight years of searching, Texas-born artist, columnist, and now first-time author Spunky Collins has finally found her calling. Embarking on her own journey of discovery after her 2010 breakthrough in what noetic science defines as direct knowing, Spunky has pioneered a unique method of self-healing that she calls Soul Signature Reading, the very first of its kind. Her innovative work will project her into the future as one of modern day's up-and-coming evolutionists. Visit her website at: www.spunkycollins.com.