Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

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In the vein of The Glass Castle, Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.

Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.

When Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman's indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.
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About the author

LIZ MURRAY was left homeless at age 15 after her mother's death from AIDS. She fended for herself on the streets, eventually returning to high school. She was accepted into Harvard, where she attended college classes for three years before taking time off to help her father, who died of AIDS. She returned to college, and is now taking graduate courses at Harvard. Liz gives speaking engagements around the country. A movie about her life, Homeless to Harvard, was made by Lifetime in 2003, and airs frequently.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette Books
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Published on
Sep 7, 2010
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781401396206
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Family & Relationships / Abuse / Child Abuse
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New York Times Bestseller

"The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety."–NPR.org

The spellbinding story of Chris McCandless, who gave away his savings, hitchhiked to Alaska, walked into the wilderness alone, and starved to death in 1992, fascinated not just New York Times bestselling author Jon Krakauer, but also the rest of the nation. Krakauer's book,Into the Wild, became an international bestseller, translated into thirty-one languages, and Sean Penn's inspirational film by the same name further skyrocketed Chris McCandless to global fame. But the real story of Chris’s life and his journey has not yet been told - until now. The missing pieces are finally revealed in The Wild Truth, written by Carine McCandless, Chris's beloved and trusted sister.  Featured in both the book and film, Carine has wrestled for more than twenty years with the legacy of her brother's journey to self-discovery, and now tells her own story while filling in the blanks of his. Carine was Chris's best friend, the person with whom he had the closest bond, and who witnessed firsthand the dysfunctional and violent family dynamic that made Chris willing to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled household, Carine speaks candidly about the deeper reality of life in the McCandless family. In the many years since the tragedy of Chris's death, Carine has searched for some kind of redemption. In this touching and deeply personal memoir, she reveals how she has learned that real redemption can only come from speaking the truth.

從流浪街頭到踏入全美最高學府,

來自社會底層的非一般真實勵志故事。


◆初版即榮登誠品、博客來、金石堂暢銷榜,銷量突破十萬冊

◆獲頒美國知名主持人歐普拉「無所畏懼獎」

◆長踞美國Amazon暢銷榜,近千名讀者力讚

◆《紐約時報》、《出版家周刊》專文報導

◆OKAPI博客來獨書報、交通大學《喀報》、《犢月刊》專文推薦

◆中學生網站推薦閱讀

◆豆瓣讀書網近★★★★★好評


【感動推薦】


勞勃.瑞福/國際知名演員

何飛鵬/城邦媒體集團首席執行長

徐薇/知名英文老師

劉軒/暢銷作家、音樂工作者

謝文憲/暢銷作家、兩岸知名企業講師


如果要說我有厭惡什麼的話,

那麼我恨毒品與上癮這樣的事,但我並不恨我的父母。


要痛下多大的決心,才能從谷底中奮起?

要具備何等強大的愛,才能無條件接納墮落的家人?


莉姿.茉芮和姊姊出生於紐約市的布朗克斯區,父母嗑藥成癮,還把社會補助的教養津貼拿去買毒,全家過著三餐不繼的困頓生活。


學生時期的莉姿,常因為一身的髒衣與頭蝨滿布的亂髮而飽受取笑,自卑造就的墮落,導致她無法適應校園生活,最後被送進少女中途之家安置。


十五歲時,原本飄搖的家終告瓦解,莉姿只好隻身流落街頭靠著撿垃圾、行竊、乞食維生,甚至還整夜搭乘地鐵,只為了讓自己有個溫暖的地方過夜……


當母親死於愛滋病後,她突然警醒,這一切的墮落都源自於父母沒有勇氣跳出牢籠,唯一讓自己擁有「其他可能選項」的途徑,就是,她重回高中就讀;她經常在她睡覺的地鐵站與走廊上完成學校作業。在惡劣的環境下,莉姿把四年的高中學程,壓縮成兩年讀完,並且贏得《紐約時報》的獎學金,成為「最貧窮的哈佛女孩」。


【本書佳言摘錄】


*請不要閉眼,機會就在下一秒出現。

*人會死,花會謝,看似有價值的東西實際上毫無意義。最終留下的是一個影像,模糊的影像,供我們回憶。

*不管你的出身為何,有一件事情對我們每一個人都是一樣的:你給人生什麼意義,人生就會如你所願。

*我為什麼要覺得可憐,這就是我的生活。我甚至要感謝它,它讓我在任何情況下都必須往前走。我沒有退路,我只能不停地努力向前走。

*除非直接去做、去體驗,不然在事情尚未發生前,誰也無法知道真正的可能性是什麼。

*我接納了自己的哀傷,於是我就能肯定自己在面對這麼多的失落時,所展現的韌性與生命力。


【各界盛讚】


「該書讀起來,比較像是一部冒險故事,而非有關毒癮的道德問題論述……茉芮在六歲大時,就知道怎麼注射毒品(雖然她從未嘗試),以及如何去照顧毒癮發作的雙親。她在孩提之際,即展現不可思議的早熟,在寫作上,她也細心經營不要落入青少年與傳記作者易有的自憐心態……茉芮的冷靜自持的態度,是她這麼多年來辛苦成長所獲得的成就,這對於她作為一位作家而言,是一個不可多得的特質。該書洋溢真情至性的告白,毫無一絲冷言惡語,而且動人至深。」

——《紐約時報》書評


「莉姿.茉芮向我們揭示了,人類心靈擁有無限成長的能力,絕不會為環境條件所局限。本書文筆優美,是一本出自真心、真情所寫下的回憶錄;覽讀本書,將改變我們看待身邊人們的眼光,重新評估生命中所遭遇的阻礙與挫折的意義,並且讓我們反思所謂「美國夢」的幻象。本書激發人心,絕對不容錯過。」

——勞勃.瑞福(Robert Redford)


「作為一本回憶錄,本書是一塊踏門磚,讓我們了解到,貧窮與藥癮問題如何形塑出一群處於社會底層、令人不忍於心的問題孩童現象;這個社會問題,迄今尚未受到廣泛的重視。然而,莉姿.茉芮最後所給予我們鼓舞人心的結局,正好讓我們見識到,美國最壞的一面與最好的一面。」

——《叫作莉皮的女孩》(A Girl Named Zippy)、《她自長椅上站起》(She Got Up Off the Couch)等暢銷書作家海芬.琪默(Haven Kimmel)


「頁頁散發啟迪人心的靈光。一生必讀之書。」

——《畫眉》(Blackbird)、《指點迷津》(Show Me the Way)等暢銷書作家珍妮佛.蘿克(Jennifer Lauck)


「出之以善感與優雅的筆調,茉芮娓娓道出有關一個被遺忘的家庭與一段悲慘童年的故事,其震撼人心的力道,讓我們過目難忘。茉芮提醒我們,人生情節中所包含的愛與失落的主題,兩者可能相伴而生,然而,孤寂與絕望的苦痛,最後卻也可能綻放成就與成功的繁花。她讓我們充滿光明的希望:每一個人的人生,不管此前的經歷為何,皆能浴火重生,達至歡喜收成的彼岸。她藉由一名少女的回憶,呈顯出,堅定的意志與絕不屈服的生命態度,如何能維繫靈魂尊嚴於不墜的祕密。」

——暢銷書《希望的孩子》(Hope’s Boy)作者安德魯.布里吉(Andrew Bridge)


「……茉芮在這部不同凡響、講述真正勇氣的故事裡,從一開始『以為這個世界就是一堆看我不順眼的人』,到最後,卻習得了去接受那些真正關心他人的陌生人的慷慨美意。」

——《出版家週刊》(Publishers Weekly)書評


【部落客試讀好評】


恩佐:這是一本感人的故事,有別於一般的小說,看完作者的故事,你可以想想自己至今的人生,或許會有一些想法、一些改變,那麼,作者寫出這篇故事,就有他的價值了!


苦悶中年男:從閱讀《最貧窮的哈佛女孩》的過程中,希望我們也能體會,一點微小的燭光,對於身處黑暗中的人而言,或許就如燈塔般的光亮。


寶寶&章魚:這是一部真實反映最極致貧窮的小說,以莉姿第一人稱自述不平凡的成長歷程。她的努力告訴我們生命還有不同的可能,不平凡的人生必須有平凡的考驗與困境,阻擾考驗越嚴苛才能萃煉出更亮麗的人生!


Jane:教育可以做的、應該做的,絕對還很多!讀完本書後,不只心疼莉姿經過了悲慘的童年、青少年,也想著可能有更多的莉姿還在社會的邊緣遊走著。


楊依靜:這故事真正要傳達的應該是,努力絕對不會徒勞無功,不管世事如何變化,不管下一步會怎麼走,人生絕不會只受一樁事件的影響而判定成敗!


Vernir:這是一個令人動容的故事,更是一個勵志的故事,她在那樣艱困的生活條件下,都能夠堅持到底,生活不虞匱乏的我們,究竟還有什麼可以不努力的理由?


青蛙:如果不是閱讀了這本書,就不會發現原來自己那些對活在底層地帶人們生活的想像力,是如此地缺乏及枯燥。


Yun:不要認為自己就是出身不好、能力不足,或是這件事就是不可能。如同作者在本書「終曲」所說的:「不管你的出身為何,有一件事情對我們每一個人都是一樣的:你給人生什麼意義,人生就會如你所願。」




出版社 商周出版 (城邦) 

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