Nickels: A Tale Of Dissociation

Overview

"...a perfect genius that makes the impossible in expression, possible; the unknowable in experience, knowable"

--Anya Achtenberg, author of The Stories of Devil-Girl

Nickels follows a biracial girl named "Little Miss So and So", from age 4-1/2 into adulthood. Told in a series of prose poems, Nickels'
lyrical and inventive language conveys ...

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Nickels: A Tale Of Dissociation

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Overview

"...a perfect genius that makes the impossible in expression, possible; the unknowable in experience, knowable"

--Anya Achtenberg, author of The Stories of Devil-Girl

Nickels follows a biracial girl named "Little Miss So and So", from age 4-1/2 into adulthood. Told in a series of prose poems, Nickels'
lyrical and inventive language conveys the dissociative states born of a world formed by persistent and brutal incest and homophobia.
The dissociative states enable the child's survival and, ultimately,
the adult's healing. The story is both heartbreaking and triumphant.
Nickels is the groundbreaking debut of Minneapolis-area author and artist Christine Stark.

"Christine Stark has crafted a language and a diction commensurate with the shredding of consciousness that is a consequence of childhood sexual abuse. She brings us a wholly original voice in a riveting novel of desperation and love. Every sentence vibrates with a terrible beauty. Every sentence brings the news."

--Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery

"To be taken into the mind of a child can be an enchanting adventure, but to be taken into the mind of a child who is abused, confused, and taken for granted is a lingering, livid journey. I applaud her fortitude to bring an olden--too long ignored--
truth out of the darkness with blazing, innovative light."

--MariJo Moore, author of The Diamond Doorknob

"In Nickels, Christine Stark, powerfully portrays the story of abuse and its impact on our lives.
When this beautifully written and compelling story leaves, you are left wanting more. It's riveting; a book that will capture you from the beginning and carry you through the end. Everyone should read this book."

--Olga Trujillo, author of The Sum of My Parts

From the Reflections of America Series at Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com

Learn more at www.ChristineStark.com

FIC044000 Fiction : Contemporary Women

FIC018000 Fiction : Lesbian

SOC010000 Social Science : Feminism & Feminist Theory

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Editorial Reviews

Francisco - Patricia Weaver Francisco
"Christine Stark has crafted a language and a diction commensurate with the shredding of consciousness that is a consequence of childhood sexual abuse. She brings us a wholly original voice in a riveting novel of desperation and love. Every sentence vibrates with a terrible beauty. Every sentence brings the news."
--Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of "Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery"
Moore - MariJo Moore
"To be taken into the mind of a child can be an enchanting adventure, but to be taken into the mind of a child who is abused, confused, and taken for granted is a lingering, livid journey. I applaud her fortitude to bring an olden--too long ignored-- truth out of the darkness with blazing, innovative light."
--MariJo Moore, author of "The Diamond Doorknob"
Trujillo - Olga Trujillo
"In Nickels, Christine Stark, powerfully portrays the story of abuse and its impact on our lives. When this beautifully written and compelling story leaves, you are left wanting more. It's riveting; a book that will capture you from the beginning and carry you through the end. Everyone should read this book."
--Olga Trujillo, author of "The Sum of My Parts"
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615990504
  • Publisher: Loving Healing Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2011
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 543,631
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Stark is an award-winning writer and visual artist whose work has been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including The Florida Review; Feminist Studies; Poetry Motel; Hawk and Handsaw: the Journal of Creative Sustainability; Birthed From Scorched Hearts; To Plead Our Own Cause: Narratives of Modern Slavery; and Primavera. She is a co-editor (with Rebecca Whisnant) of Not for Sale, an international anthology on sexual violence and her poem, "Momma's Song," has been released as part of the double CD/manga Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon/Momma's Song in collaboration with musician Fred Ho. She is a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction and a 2010 Loft Mentorship winner in creative non-fiction. She regularly shows and publishes her visual art in galleries and periodicals. She also speaks nationally and internationally on a variety of social justice issues at universities, conferences, and rallies. Christine teaches writing at Metropolitan State University and Normandale Community College. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, April.

You can reach her through her site www.ChristineStark.com

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I am grateful that I was given such an opportunity to read such

    I am grateful that I was given such an opportunity to read such an amazing book, and i am anxious to read more from Christine stark.
    This story starts with Little Miss So and So at age 4 and we follow her through her horrifying days all the way up to age 25 and a half.
    Of course it isn't a book that doesn't fill your mind with sadness, swallow your heart, and make you think after you are finished, about how this is something that really happens and how is there ever going to be a way to stop it/
    Dissociation actually was a blessing with this character, as she was able to escape the horror that took place, and she was able to overcome much of what had happened to her and become a strong young woman.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2012

    I was excited to be chosen to review the book, Nickels: A Tale


    I was excited to be chosen to review the book, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation. I received a copy of the book to read, and found that I became engrossed in the story. I was unsure it would be the type of book I would like, as it is written in a unique style with prose poems. I soon adjusted to the writing style and followed the tale of Little Miss So And So throughout her life, from the age of four to 26. I found the story of a child who was going through so much turmoil and abuse to be heartbreaking and deeply moving. As I continued to read, I learned more about Little Miss So And So (and later just So And So) as she tried to love, overcome guilt for things she had no control over, and just survive each day. I truly was transported to inside the mind of a child and later into the mind of a young woman that was never fully given the chance to grow up, as she struggled with the fear of being crazy and the dissociation she experienced. The book is deep and even dark at times, but it is ultimately a story of a young girl growing into a woman and learning to survive and overcome her past. Truly a moving book that helps shed light on abuse, sexuality, dissociation, and strength.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2012

    AMAZING BOOK! AWESOME READ

    I could hardly put Nickels down, it grab my attention, touch my heart and soul, made me want to cry and jump up and scream This book took me away on a journey alongside a young girl named Little Miss So and So from age 4 1/2 until age 25 . This book is told in a series of amazing poems, that touch your heart and soul.

    Along side Little Miss So and So through the horrific pain, and hurtful abuse. These are all places I had never traveled before, feelings I had never felt, anger and hatred, I had never witnessed. This book left me with so many emotions for this young girl, if I was feeling this way how would an innocent young girl handle such horrific pain and abuse, emotions, it's too much for a tiny soul to endure.

    We traveled up into adulthood thought pain and abuse, places I had never been before. I cried and I felt pain in my heart for what this young girl has endured in her life. Stark does an outstanding job opening eyes to so many about the pain, abuse, and anger some endure throughout their lives from people they call their parents. Nickels takes you through the horrific pain, abuse and torture this young girl felt. The abuse from her father and fear from mother, the child is stuck in this life of incestuous rape, if ever spoken of her father will kill her.

    Little Miss So and So comes to understand what has happened to her and is completely understand by whom. Victimized by her family, the system, social workers, foster parents, everyone fails her. Nickels starts out heartbreaking and ends in triumph. There is something that helps her find her inner strength passion and voice, yet she something inside that helped to become a survivor. She gets a voice speaks up, reaches out and strives to recover from her horrific past

    I honestly can say that I will never look at a nickel the same way. A good book takes you into the world of the story, the feeling and emotion are shared with the characters, they become your own, Stark did an outstanding job. Nickels takes you into this girls life and you fell what she feel throughout her life. One understands where the choices she makes in her adult years is coming from when nobody else does. I could not step away from the book, the triumphant ending teaches one, regardless the pain we have endured once can get help, find strength from within to live to see a brighter day as a survivor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2012

    NICKELS: a tale of dissociation by author Christine Stark, takes

    NICKELS: a tale of dissociation by author Christine Stark, takes us through the life of Little Miss So and So, a child living through horrendous physical & sexual abuse at the hands of her father. While her mother, the one parent most are able to count on, turns the other cheek with full knowledge of what her husband is doing to their child.

    NICKELS also guides us through Little Miss So and So's development and discovery of her sexuality & the homophobia that comes along with it. We see what Little Miss So and So needs to do, to cope with the life she's been born into.

    Friendships that never have a chance to develop, for fear of discovery of Little Miss So and So's home life.

    The lack of trust that has been stolen from her because of the dysfunctional relationship between Little Miss So and So and her parents.

    The one person who has loved Little Miss So and So, unconditionally, but from afar, is her Aboriginal grandmother. Whom I suspect knows something is not right, but is waiting for her granddaughter to tell her what is wrong. One of my favourite lines that always ends their phone conversations is, "You are the cream in my coffee too granddaughter." One of the few soft spots in the book.

    This is the first time that I've read a novel in the form of several prose poems. It took me until Age 10 (the novel follows main character, Little Miss So and So by age) before I could get into a regular, reading rhythm. Until Age 10 it took me 3 times as long as it normally would, to finish a page. Eventually I found myself able to visually add the punctuation where they "normally" would be in a traditionally written novel. Therefore making it easier on myself to follow the flow of the book.

    This work of fiction allows the readers to get a glimpse of the ramifications of what can and does occur to people who are sexually abused.

    Mental health issues that are more common then not. In the case of Little Miss So and So, dissociation.

    The lifelong issues with trust. Even with the therapy there is often a war with one's self, to not fall back into feelings of worthlessness, or not being good enough.

    Establishing relationships as an adult are often something that is continually worked on, throughout life.

    Not falling into different kinds of abusive relationships because that is what the abused is use to and or feels that this is all that they are worth.

    I didn't find NICKELS: A Tale of Dissociation overly disturbing because I know that this is a very unfortunate, but very real part of every society around the world. An issue that we as a society should not be afraid to address. For those who are sensitive to the subject of sexual abuse/homophobia this novel may be hard to get through, but it's well worth it in the end. Christine Stark has a writing style that will make you feel as though you embody the spirit of her characters. For me, I was able to anticipate Little Miss So and So's thoughts and actions towards the end of novel. Not in a predictable way, because the writing has been done before, but because at times I felt that I was Little Miss So and So. Before I started to read this book, I knew what the subject matter was, so I didn't let the turmoil of the character follow me into my life, when I put the book down.

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    Brilliant and Heartbreaking

    Nickels is a brilliantly written book about a girl named "Little Miss So and So" that suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of early, repeated abuse by the hands of her father. Christine Stark has a way of writing that has you feeling like you are inside this little girls mind, seeing and feeling what "Little Miss So and So" does. Nickels takes you on a journey from this little girls childhood through her young adulthood filled with mental, physical, and sexual abuse by the man whom she refers to as "Mad Dad". "Little Miss So and So", year in and year out, wishes and hopes that someone, anyone will come to her rescue as she falls deeper and deeper into the abuse of her father.
    As you begin to read, you find yourself wondering about her mother which you soon discover, is either encouraging the behavior of her father or pretending they all live a prefect family life. Nickels is an up close look at how abuse takes a toll on ones life, and is carried into adulthood until "Miss So and So" speaks up and finally gets the support and help that she needs which leads her down the road of recovery.
    I was wrapped up so tight into this book, at times it felt like I couldn't breathe. This book is heartbreaking with a beautiful ending that teaches you that you can get help, and get through anything if you just find the strength within.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excruciating journey of a child's disassociation

    Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views (9/11)

    Mental Health America defines dissociation as a mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory and sense of identity. Driving on a familiar road and abruptly realizing that you don't recall the past few miles you just traveled is the kind of mild dissociation many people have experienced. But when new author Christine Stark decided that one of the concepts she wanted her first book to explore was dissociation in an immediate and centrally focused way, she chose to write a story in which dissociative experiences of childhood sexual abuse are the central, chronic, and overwhelming problem.

    Stark's story, "Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation," takes the reader on an unimaginable, excruciating journey in the company of the mind of a biracial girl named "Little Miss So and So," from age four into adulthood. The vast majority of readers are not likely to have seen the written and verbal portrait of childhood and developing personhood that the author paints. Her canvas is the character's inner-most mind in which she blends a unique, rhythmic prose with powerful and unsettling imagery.

    Particularly piercing and provocative is the dissociative world created by "Little Miss So and So" in her early childhood years of four and five. She uses her own special language and her own secret places to help her sustain her disconnection from the never ending horror, which she cannot yet fully comprehend, brought upon her by an incestuous father. It's a world populated by China Doll Girl, P girl, Suit Man and Mad Dad. But it's a world that keeps her safer than her real world.

    "Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation" will inherently fall on a continuum of reader opinion. Educators, writers and advocacy organizations have already lauded the book on many fronts. Among more casual readers, some will no doubt set the book aside after reading the first chapter and never return. Some will simply find it a good story. Still others will find it a riveting story that they are unable to put down. As for me, the author's innovative writing style and powerful verbal imagery simultaneously commanded my attention and distracted me. There were times along the way when I had to step outside the child's world for some fresh air. And there were occasions when I wished the journey would just end. But, all things considered, I am grateful to Christine Stark for taking me to that place. Childhood sexual violence is more widespread in America than most people realize. Take the journey with "Little Miss So and So" because if we don't know about her world, we won't care enough help solve the problem.

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    Posted August 16, 2011

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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    Posted May 21, 2012

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