Devil in the Details

Devil in the Details

4.2 18
by Jennifer Traig, Melinda Wade
     
 

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When her father found the washing machine crammed with everything from her sneakers to her barrettes, 12-year-old Jennifer Traig had a simple explanation: They’d been tainted by the pork fumes emanating from the kitchen and had to be cleansed. The same fumes compelled Jennifer to wash her hands for 30 minutes before dinner.

Jennifer’s childhood

Overview


When her father found the washing machine crammed with everything from her sneakers to her barrettes, 12-year-old Jennifer Traig had a simple explanation: They’d been tainted by the pork fumes emanating from the kitchen and had to be cleansed. The same fumes compelled Jennifer to wash her hands for 30 minutes before dinner.

Jennifer’s childhood mania was the result of her then undiagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder joining forces with her Hebrew studies. While preparing for her bat mitzvah, she was introduced to an entire set of arcane laws and quickly made it her mission to follow them perfectly. Her parents nipped her religious obsession in the bud early on, but as her teen years went by, her natural tendency toward the extreme led her down different paths of adolescent agony and mortification.

Years later, Jennifer remembers these scenes with candor and humor. What emerges is a portrait of a well-meaning girl and her good-natured parents, and a very funny, very sharp look back at growing up.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565118973
Publisher:
HighBridge Company
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
375
Product dimensions:
4.48(w) x 1.25(h) x 7.12(d)

Meet the Author

JENNIFER TRAIG is a frequent contributor to McSweeney's and . She is the author of a series of young adult books and a humor book, Judaikitsch. She has a Ph.D. in Literature and lives in San Francisco.

MELINDA WADE's theater credits include The New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Theater Works, The Atlantic Theater Company, and Williamstown. TV guest appearances include Ed, Judging Amy, Law & Order, and Spin City.

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4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Lover_of_memiors More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The author is humorous yet informative about her "disability". I had no idea that OCD was so over powering. It takes over you whole way of thinking and how you perform your everyday life. Jennifer's writing is great and had me laughing out loud. I have since passed the book along for friends to enjoy and they love the book too! Can't wait to read her new book, Well Enough Alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is unbelievably funny. It was very insightful, and really brought the reader in touch with how an obsessive compulsive mind works. The reader really gets a feeling for what it is like living with this disease. And I can not stress how funny, despite how serious, this book is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really impressed with this book. It flowed very nicely, and I didn't want to put it down. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested is how OCD affects a person in day to day activity, or anyone who wants a good laugh. It somehow puts humor into a serious disease, and really makes you think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow. As someone who also suffered from OCD during chldhood, this book was DEAD ON! I actually started crying at one point because I went throught the exact same things and it was so touching to see it on paper. Not that this is a sad book, it's actually really funny and helped me laugh at myself too. I color code everything so the cover of this book caught my attention, and i'm so glad it did!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When the poet John Gay wrote that youth was the season for joys he surely did not know Jennifer Traig. Although at times the story of her young days can be funny it was far from a period of much laughter as she suffered from obsessive-compulsive behavior. Voice performer Melinda Wade gives a fine angst ridden reading to Ms. Traig's account. What must it have been like to live with one who from her early teenage years carried much to extremes? First there is the eating problem - she's anorexic. Probably most puzzling to her parents (one of whom is Catholic, another Jewish) is her obsession with Jewish rituals. For a young girl who to date had been not even been nominally interested in religion to suddenly take to washing all of her possessions to get rid of the smell of pork must have been a shock. The litany of her behavior (which she relates as one might expect from a standup comic) is laughable, yet it's also very sad when one realizes she is referring to a form of mental illness. There is a name for this condition - disorder scrupulosity, which is marked by constant repetitions of religious observances whether it be prayer or hand washing. Well read, indeed, but not a pretty story.