Abandon Me by Melissa Febos
Memoirs

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The visceral beauty of such scenes is matched in evocations of the sheltered Cape Cod where she grew up, its shores, lake and woodlands replete with childhood tests and dangers. Fairy tales are ribboned into the essays, as well as myth, philosophy...
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

For readers of Maggie Nelson and Leslie Jamison, a fierce and dazzling personal narrative that explores the many ways identity and art are shaped by love and loss.

In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulfillment.

In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. As Febos tentatively reconnects, she sees how both these lineages manifest in her own life, marked by compulsion and an instinct for self-erasure. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time. Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession -- and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another.

At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal.

 

About Melissa Febos

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Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart. Portions from Abandon Me have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, and the Center for Women Writers, and twice earned notice in the 2015 Best American Essays anthology. Febos serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Monmouth University and on the M.F.A. faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Brooklyn. melissafebos.com
 
Published February 28, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA. 316 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction
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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by MARIAN RYAN on Feb 24 2017

The visceral beauty of such scenes is matched in evocations of the sheltered Cape Cod where she grew up, its shores, lake and woodlands replete with childhood tests and dangers. Fairy tales are ribboned into the essays, as well as myth, philosophy...

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