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Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton
     

Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton

by Linda Gray Sexton, Sexton
 

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Linda Gray Sexton’s critically acclaimed memoir is an honest, unsparing account of the anguish and fierce love that bound a brilliant, difficult mother and the daughter she left behind. Linda Sexton was twenty-one when her mother killed herself, and now she looks back, remembers, and tries to come to terms with her mother’s life.

Life with Anne was a

Overview


Linda Gray Sexton’s critically acclaimed memoir is an honest, unsparing account of the anguish and fierce love that bound a brilliant, difficult mother and the daughter she left behind. Linda Sexton was twenty-one when her mother killed herself, and now she looks back, remembers, and tries to come to terms with her mother’s life.

Life with Anne was a wild mixture of suicidal depression and manic happiness, inappropriate behavior, and midnight trips to the psychiatric ward. Anne taught Linda how to write, how to see, how to imagine—and only Linda could have written a book that captures so vividly the intimate details and lingering emotions of their life together. Searching for Mercy Street speaks to everyone who admires Anne Sexton and to every daughter or son who knows the pain of an imperfect childhood. This beautiful new trade paperback edition includes a new introduction by the author.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sexton's memoir recalls growing up with her unstable and self-destructive poet mother, who killed herself when her daughter was 21. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Sexton, a novelist and notably the daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton, wrote this memoir as an antidote for a depression-induced writer's block brought on, in part, by her mother's legacy. With the bias and insight only she could have, Sexton tells the story of her life with a mother who was profoundly mentally ill: depressed, deranged, suicidal, and addicted to medications, alcohol, and sex. Anne Sexton committed suicide at the age of 45 after naming her 21-year-old daughter her literary executor. This cathartic and anguish-filled book spares no detail of the mother's selfish and difficult personality or her intense and fortifying love. Sexton also briefly addresses the controversy surrounding Diane Middlebrook's Anne Sexton: A Biography (LJ 8/91). Recommended for humanities collections as well as comprehensive psychology collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/94.]-Janice Braun, Hoover Inst. Lib., Stanford, Cal.
Donna Seaman
An ocean of books has been written about mothers and daughters, but few rival Linda Gray Sexton's memoir about her wrenching relationship with her mother, the late poet Anne Sexton, for intensity, complexity, and tragedy. As Anne's eldest daughter, Linda inherited the very best of Anne, her love of language and passion for writing, and endured Anne at her destructive worse. Anne suffered from a mental illness so extreme she subjected her enthralled and loving daughter to appalling psychological and sexual abuse. Linda has already endured exposure of the grim facts about Anne's cruel and demented behavior when Diane Middlebrook's biography, a work Linda fully authorized as her mother's literary executor, rocked the literary world in 1991. Now, as part of her ongoing healing process and growth as a writer, Linda, author of several novels, including Private Acts (1991), tells the complete story of her consistently frightening yet sporadically exhilarating life with Anne. Linda succeeds in expressing the agony and fear of her childhood as well as the anger, compassion, and, finally, forgiveness she has felt toward her mother, and herself, as an adult. This memoir, beautifully written and searingly frank, explores the mysteries and consequences of madness, creativity, love, and the courageous act of telling painful truths.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316782074
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
307
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.10(d)

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