One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fifty-one. When Peter invites her and her mother to his house, the little girl finds a child's paradise of exotic pets and an elaborate backyard garden. Her mother, beset by mental illness and overwhelmed by caring for Margaux, is grateful for the attention Peter lavishes on her, and he creates an imaginative universe for her, much as Lewis Carroll did for his real-life Alice.
In time, he insidiously takes on the role of Margaux's playmate, father, and lover. Charming and manipulative, Peter burrows into every aspect of Margaux's life and transforms her from a child fizzing with imagination and affection into a brainwashed young woman on the verge of suicide. But when she is twenty-two, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of sixty-six.
Told with lyricism, depth, and mesmerizing clarity, Tiger, Tiger vividly illustrates the healing power of memory and disclosure. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a young girl in free fall and conveys to readers—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.
Margaux Fragoso recently completed a PhD in English and creative writing at Binghamton University. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Literary Review and Barrow Street, among other literary journals.
Behind the salacious headlines, Marty’s family paid a terrible price. In her shockingly honest, no-holds-barred memoir, Romola describes hanging out as a child in her father’s porn shops on 42nd Street and meeting the eclectic clientele who frequented the stores, making friends with the girls who performed live sex acts on stage, and spying on her parents’ sex orgies and crazy all-night swinger parties. Romola relates, in moving detail, how she cared for her three younger siblings when her brilliant, bipolar mother broke with reality, and how she survived verbal, physical, and emotional abuse; a year in reform school; her father’s three stints in prison; two kidnapping attempts by the mob (one while at summer fat camp); and how her baby brother, Jarrett, actually was briefly kidnapped by mobsters wanting to send Marty Hodas a clear, unambiguous message.
For all its darkness, The Princess of 42nd Street is, at its heart, an uplifting and inspirational story of how one young woman overcame incredible odds to become a successful businesswoman who now devotes her life to helping others. Raw, unflinching, and devoid of self-pity, The Princess of 42nd Street is a one-of-a-kind story.
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules, there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock therapy machine under the stairs....
Running with Scissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it chronicles an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Everything Is Going to Be Great, is performer, playwright, comedian, and author Rachel Shukert’s hilarious memoir of traveling through Europe in her twenties. She chronicles her youthful navigation through the haphazard fun and debauchery of new freedoms, and the growing pains that ultimately accompany “adulthood.” Fans of Sloane Crosley and David Sedaris are going to love Shulkert’s story, and her sharp, smart humor.