Grip

Grip

by Nina Hamberg

Paperback

$12.50
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Overview

Why does a smart woman make bad choices in men? In the award-winning memoir, Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions, a woman examines her life with stunning honesty searching for an answer. Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, Grip is the story of how a teenager fends off an armed intruder with only her wits, then goes on to become the toughest female martial artist in her karate school and an early advocate for women’s rights. Yet in private, this five-foot fighter selects one wrong man after another, including a manipulative ex-con and a karate teacher with anger issues. Ultimately, Hamberg finds her real battle is an internal one. She has to forgive a father who never fought for her before she can bond with a different kind of man and allow herself to trust and love. Winner of the Maui Writers Conference Rupert Hughes Award and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association Book Award for “Best Memoir,” Grip has been acclaimed as a page-turner that reads like a novel. Rich with detail that draws the reader in, it is riveting, heartbreaking and wise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982754702
Publisher: Route One Press
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Nina Hamberg has been a marketing consultant, karate instructor, photographer, group home counselor, synagogue cleaning lady, insurance claims examiner, and receptionist on Park Avenue. She has been writing all her life, both for pleasure and profit. Hamberg studied creative writing at programs sponsored by Stanford University, Duke University, and the Squaw Valley Writers Community. Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions is her first book.

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Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Butterfly-o-Meter_Books More than 1 year ago
God, how I loved this book! I had a feeling I would totally be nuts about it from the first moment I held it in my hands. You know what happened as soon as I saw the cover? I went like and I grinned like some mad woman my whole way home, stealing a read now and then, here and there, and not for a moment letting go of the book from my hands. I knew it right then and there, this was going to be a memorable memoir read. I postponed starting to read it the entire day, for reasons I'm not sure about. I guess I just needed the velvety companionship of night to go into it; and when night came, I began my read. I had this terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for the first 40 or so pages, culminating with me crying around page 50. But I didn't take a break, I couldn't, I kept reading like I was possessed. Somewhere around page 150 I felt the need for a breather. My emotions were all over the place, and I was getting tired, and being emotionally drained didn't help much. So I put the book down until morning, when I consumed it with ardor. By the end I was grinning like a mad woman again, and I put the book on my bedside table-thing. I keep glancing at it, reaching over and running my hands over the cover now and then. Reading this book was the most touching experiences of this year for me, and though it was intense, and consuming at one point, I can't wait to do it all over again. It's that kind of book that I know I will read many times, at random times; the kind of book I'd carry around with me, in my bag, my safe exit from whatever bleh situation I might be in. My book savior, infallible. The writing is absolutely fabulous, the characters are complex, and they'll keep you pondering and wondering well after you've read the book. I'm still wondering about Lee, and I'm in awe of David, but most importantly, I'm in endless awe of Nina, of her strength, her courage, and her uncanny ability to include in her life the most intriguing creatures. I loved the pace of the book, the way you're showed how she felt things, how she made me a part of her soul with no pretentious rants or effusive passages. Just incredibly well written emotion and feeling. And just look at that cover!! It's the best cover I've seen in a long, long while. It's incredibly expressive, meaningful, haunting. It's a perfect cover for this book. I wanna have a huge poster of it and hang it in my room, that's how awesome this is. (the only posters I have in my room are of coffee, and that's my first love, alongside my cat, so you can imagine just how into it I am.) I strongly recommend reading this amazing book, and if I could give it a 6 out 5 butterflies, I would - that's how much I loved it. I won't lie, if you're the sort that gets very emotionally invested in your reads, like I do, this will be rather intense, but also incredibly beautiful and somehow liberating.
TameraL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A typical girl, Nina Hamberg is caught between two parents who act more like children, then adults and later divorce. To make matters worse, Nina is ignored when she tells of a peeking tom looking through her bedroom window. Even the cops don¿t take her seriously. So when the stalker breaks in and attacks her, everyone acts surprised, even though the warning signs were already there but discounted. The attack leaves a stain in young Nina¿s heart as people around her avoid what happened, including her own father. As Nina grows, she tries to come to grips with what happened, but the effect of the attack is ever present. This becomes evident in her personal life as she seeks solace in the arms of abusers and rapists. Nina is petite, seemingly frail. But the gutsy woman trains in karate and faces down college professors and crude classmates to advocate for women¿s rights. Nina takes on violent youth in a group home, almost being raped in the process. Though life¿s knocks take their toll on Nina, she is a survivor. In the process Nina will find herself and the peace she longs for. She learns to forgive and in the forgiveness, learns to love herself just as she is. GRIP is a wonderful memoir. Nina Hamberg is as honest as they come. She holds nothing back as she reveals the horrors in her life along with the triumphs. Not only was her book entertaining, but it reveals just how vulnerable human nature can be. I found the book refreshing and wonderfully written. I would highly recommend it and look forward to seeing more works from this wonderful author.
GrrlLovesBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I often read memoirs and found the book to be one of the most interesting I have come across for some time.The work moves through time and conflict weaving the two in a way that will keep the reader engaged.I enjoyed the book and look forward to future works from this author.
tac1948 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is from: Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions (Paperback) As a novel Grip would have been a mildly interesting story about mental, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of parents, siblings, society, and lovers. As such I could have set it down and forgotten it. But it is a memoir meant to ellict an emotional response.Unfortunately the author writes dispassionately about her experiences, so the scene of her knife attack, and subsequent abuses by lovers did not resonate. The book, written in a narrative style, had barely fleshed out characters who did not ellicit any empathy. Although she suffered a physical attack, which could have left her dead, literally no one gave a damn. And to make things worse she wrote this section so dispassionately she left this reader not particularly giving a damn either. As a result of being raised by immature, emotionally deficient parents and neglected by her only sibling, the author-protagonist came unformed into her adult years. As in many similar histories, this left a shell of a person, someone harboring deeply repressed anger, who expressed this in aggressive and sexually promiscuous behavior resulting in repeated destructive life choices. That is the stuff of this memoir.If the author was adept enough to offer insight into the human heart the book would have been much better. If she was able to create an emotional atmosphere she may have engaged me more. If she was able to express the moments of rueful understanding and deep introspection that must have occurred in her life to be able to write this memoir she would have earned more stars.Reviewer won a copy of the book in a Librarything Giveaway Contest.
agnesmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am so grateful to Nina Hamberg for writing this memoir. I don't remember the last time a book took my breath away quite like this one did.Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions begins during Nina's teenage years, when a stranger breaks into her bedroom and attacks her in the middle of the night. This seemingly random event affects Nina dramatically, and the ensuing story is, in part, the story of how that event shaped her life. Much of this is such an ugly book: but so very necessary.A lot of her difficulty dealing with this event was caused by the people in her life not understanding the magnitude of what happened. The police make no attempt to find the attacker, and her parents would prefer to pretend it never happened. Her attacker left a physical scar on her, and in one chapter Nina relates the story of compulsively flashing this scar to people. She says, "how hungry I was for someone, anyone, to express outrage over what had happened." This resonated so deeply and personally with me, because I was the victim of childhood abuse, and no one in my life gave me what I really needed: the gift of anger.In the afterward, Nina writes about her experience writing this book: Suddenly, I wasn't telling a hero's story at all. I had to write myself as flawed, controlling, weak and lost. I had to admit great shame . . . the scenes . . . couldn't just recount . . . passive manipulation and . . . explosive temper. They had to show my willing participation in our dance.Ms. Hamberg did just that, and that is a large part of why this book was so exceptional and so effective. The reader gets the sense that the author is truly showing every side of the story, that the author is including every morsel of her experiences so that we, the readers, can understand the whole of her life as it unfolds.This book is gripping, mesmerizing, and written with such beautiful, blunt and heartbreaking honesty. I cannot imagine how it must have felt to write something so raw and release it to the world, but Mrs. Hamberg - again, I am so grateful that you did.p.s. It is my duty to inform you that I received a review copy of this book via the Goodreads First Reads program.
ccourtland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never thought of myself as a memoir reader, but recently I've received some incredible books that have me rethinking my position. What I've realized is I'm drawn to memoirs with gritty honestly and self derogating humility. No nostalgic self-reflection retelling of events for me, please. What I love about Nina Hamberg's, Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions is, like others have suggested, this memoir reads like a fiction novel. Although I'm certain there are many other parts to Nina's life, she takes a string of habits and events and pulls the narrative along without splintering or leaving the story dangling. This is real-life, but there is a clear thematic plot full of grainy flaws, sharp wit and humility that are psychologically fascinating without the extra scoop of self-help blah that I think usually turns me off to memoirs. Personally, I've always considered myself a feminist, but truthfully never related to the stereotypical female associated with this label. What I found in Grip is another female (feminist) character that despite generation, geography and age, I can identify with in a meaningful and relevant way. Strength is not the absence of vulnerability and feeling safe takes more than just a self-defense class. Despite her feminist views, Nina finds herself still in the grip of her own sexuality -- whether it is to use it to her advantage or disadvantage. This isn't just a book for women. Nina is fair in her portrayal of men and I think raises the question, ¿Whenever either gender feels threatened (whether emotionally or physically), what defense mechanism do we tend to resort to?¿ It's difficult to deny being creatures of habit and realizing the common default factors we chose to take. In the end, I don't care if this is a true story or not, because it is simply a very good read that I'd recommend. And, if you think you're not a 'memoir' reader like I once did, I'd wager this book would happily surprise you, so give it a try.
sunqueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a tough read. On one hand, I fully applaud Ms. Hamburg for her honesty in telling her story. She does not pull any punches, even when events don't necessarily show her in the best light. On the other hand, the telling of some of the events seemed very disassociated at times and it was hard to feel empathy or understanding for her.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was enchanted and raced through the first half of the book. Her family, her college years, and her work in the feminist movement was all very interesting. But then, it slowed way down for me. Yes, she made poor choices regarding men, and hung onto some way longer than she should have. Strong and noble in many ways, but weak when it comes to the men in her life, but isn't that a common female issue. I know many strong and independent women who hang onto users, losers and abusers. I felt like the momentum stopped halfway through the book. Not bad, but not great either.
Tlawr66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A typical girl, Nina Hamberg is caught between two parents who act more like children, then adults and later divorce. To make matters worse, Nina is ignored when she tells of a peeking tom looking through her bedroom window. Even the cops don¿t take her seriously. So when the stalker breaks in and attacks her, everyone acts surprised, even though the warning signs were already there but discounted. The attack leaves a stain in young Nina¿s heart as people around her avoid what happened, including her own father. As Nina grows, she tries to come to grips with what happened, but the effect of the attack is ever present. This becomes evident in her personal life as she seeks solace in the arms of abusers and rapists. Nina is petite, seemingly frail. But the gutsy woman trains in karate and faces down college professors and crude classmates to advocate for women¿s rights. Nina takes on violent youth in a group home, almost being raped in the process. Though life¿s knocks take their toll on Nina, she is a survivor. In the process Nina will find herself and the peace she longs for. She learns to forgive and in the forgiveness, learns to love herself just as she is. GRIP is a wonderful memoir. Nina Hamberg is as honest as they come. She holds nothing back as she reveals the horrors in her life along with the triumphs. Not only was her book entertaining, but it reveals just how vulnerable human nature can be. I found the book refreshing and wonderfully written. I would highly recommend it and look forward to seeing more works from this wonderful author.
Author-TameraLawrence More than 1 year ago
A typical girl, Nina Hamberg is caught between two parents who act more like children, then adults and later divorce. To make matters worse, Nina is ignored when she tells of a peeking tom looking through her bedroom window. Even the cops don't take her seriously. So when the stalker breaks in and attacks her, everyone acts surprised, even though the warning signs were already there but discounted. The attack leaves a stain in young Nina's heart as people around her avoid what happened, including her own father. As Nina grows, she tries to come to grips with what happened, but the effect of the attack is ever present. This becomes evident in her personal life as she seeks solace in the arms of abusers and rapists. Nina is petite, seemingly frail. But the gutsy woman trains in karate and faces down college professors and crude classmates to advocate for women's rights. Nina takes on violent youth in a group home, almost being raped in the process. Though life's knocks take their toll on Nina, she is a survivor. In the process Nina will find herself and the peace she longs for. She learns to forgive and in the forgiveness, learns to love herself just as she is. GRIP is a wonderful memoir. Nina Hamberg is as honest as they come. She holds nothing back as she reveals the horrors in her life along with the triumphs. Not only was her book entertaining, but it reveals just how vulnerable human nature can be. I found the book refreshing and wonderfully written. I would highly recommend it and look forward to seeing more works from this wonderful author.
ccourtland More than 1 year ago
I've never thought of myself as a memoir reader, but recently I've received some incredible books that have me rethinking my position. What I've realized is I'm drawn to memoirs with gritty honestly and self derogating humility. No nostalgic self-reflection retelling of events for me, please. What I love about Nina Hamberg's, Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions is, like others have suggested, this memoir reads like a fiction novel. Although I'm certain there are many other parts to Nina's life, she takes a string of habits and events and pulls the narrative along without splintering or leaving the story dangling. This is real-life, but there is a clear thematic plot full of grainy flaws, sharp wit and humility that are psychologically fascinating without the extra scoop of self-help blah that I think usually turns me off to memoirs. Personally, I've always considered myself a feminist, but truthfully never related to the stereotypical female associated with this label. What I found in Grip is another female (feminist) character that despite generation, geography and age, I can identify with in a meaningful and relevant way. Strength is not the absence of vulnerability and feeling safe takes more than just a self-defense class. Despite her feminist views, Nina finds herself still in the grip of her own sexuality -- whether it is to use it to her advantage or disadvantage. This isn't just a book for women. Nina is fair in her portrayal of men and I think raises the question, "Whenever either gender feels threatened (whether emotionally or physically), what defense mechanism do we tend to resort to?" It's difficult to deny being creatures of habit and realizing the common default factors we chose to take. In the end, I don't care if this is a true story or not, because it is simply a very good read that I'd recommend. And, if you think you're not a 'memoir' reader like I once did, I'd wager this book would happily surprise you, so give it a try.
GeekyGirlReviews More than 1 year ago
I am not usually much into memoir genre but I must admit I really enjoyed this book.This memoir reads like a fiction novel so that is the reason why I really enjoyed this and was not bored. This book is very well written and this is a great memoir . If you love memoirs or even if you are like me who usually get bored reading memoirs then you might like this book.
SilversReviews More than 1 year ago
GRIP....the perfect title for this beautifully and very well-written memoir. The intense situations also add meaning and clarification to the title. Nina Hamburg allows you into her life letting you feel her desires, her trepidation, her decisions, and her retrospect. You will follow her through all the good and bad of her life feeling her pain and wondering what you would do in similar circumstances. The intensity of the novel will keep your interest, and you will respect Nina for her resiliency and strength. It is a powerful story of a life spent looking for love. She had to look hard for love and usually found it, but the love she found was usually a struggle. The day of her wedding to Lee seemed to be the time she did find love...her wedding and her vows were very touching and beautiful, but that didn't last long. I admire Nina for her strength and her determination at finding love and releasing the lifetime demons she struggled with. I also admire her for her commitment to David and the happiness they share. I enjoyed the book......the writing was absolutely phenomenal even though the subject matter was quite intense. 4/5