Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers
A Memoir

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Synopsis

After her mother's death, Alyse Myers covets only one thing: a wooden box that sits in the back of a closet. Its contents have been kept from her for her entire life. When she was thirteen years old her mother promised she could have the box, "when I'm dead. In fact, it'll be my present to you."

Growing up in Queens in the 1960s and '70s, Alyse always yearned for more in life, while her mother settled for an unhappy marriage, an unsatisfying job, and ultimately a joyless existence. Her father drifts in and out of their home. There are harrowing fights, abject cruelty, and endless uncertainty. Throughout her childhood Alyse adamantly rejects everything about her mother's lifestyle, leaving her mother to ask "Who do you think you are?"

A personal portrait of a mother and daughter, Who Do You Think You Are? explores the profound and poignant revelations that so often can come to light only after a parent has died. Balancing childhood memories with adult observations, Alyse Myers creates a riveting and deeply moving narrative.
 

About Alyse Myers

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Alyse Myers lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.  This is her first book.
 
Published May 6, 2008 by Touchstone. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Who Do You Think You Are?

Kirkus Reviews

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The death of her beloved, somewhat feckless father when she was 11 brought an end to her parents’ shouting matches, but without him as a buffer, the animosity increased between smart, self-sufficient Myers and her short-tempered, resentful, chain-smoking mother.

Mar 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

The New York Times

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In the tradition of “Mommie Dearest,” which recounted a terrorized daughter’s childhood and escape from the brutal Joan Crawford, “Who Do You Think You Are?” is the moving story of Alyse Myers’s struggle with a cruel if far less glamorous mother, and of the author’s fight to break free.

May 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

BC Books

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Alyse’s mother would accuse her husband of shacking up with a “blonde friend” with whom he’d spend his money while his family lived in a “shit hole” project apartment.

Apr 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

BC Books

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Alyse now decides to open the box promised by her mother in the second paragraph above: “You can have it when I’m dead.

Apr 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

BC Books

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In this story, a chain smoking mother uses the question as a deliberate attempt to slash out at her daughter, Alyse, whom the mother fears is loved more deeply by her husband, and is intelligent enough to become somebody.

Apr 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Throughout her childhood Alyse adamantly rejects everything about her mother's lifestyle, leaving her mother to ask "Who do you think you are?"

May 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Who Do You Think You Are?: A ...

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