LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Riding Fury Home: A Memoir with Chana Wilson
Saturday, April 14 , 2012 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com
We’re delighted to host the debut of Chana Wilson‘s new memoir, Riding Fury Home: A Memoir. Riding Fury Home is Chana’s new book about her tenuous relationship with her mother. Chana’s mom was sent to a mental institution when Chana was a young girl and treated for her lesbianism, which they attempted to “cure.” Her dramatic new memoir traces her life from her youth to the women’s movement in 1970s and beyond.
Riding Fury Home received a starred review from Publishers Weekly:
“From the horrors of her childhood in 1950s New Jersey to the liberating discovering of her sexual identity decades later, psychotherapist Wilson’s memoir is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. During Wilson’s childhood, her mother–after attempting suicide (the gun jammed)–was shuttled in and out of mental institutions, subjected to electroshock treatments, and addicted to various pills that severely impaired her ability to parent. When Wilson’s father leaves the family for England, young Wilson is forced to watch over her mother, making sure she does not overdose or attempt to kill herself again. From a young age, Wilson repeats a mantra: “I am so strong. I can get through anything;” her resilience pays off and, as an adult, Wilson’s therapist comments on her “limitless ability for suffering.” Exhausted by having to care for her mother, Wilson eventually flees home for college in Iowa. Now with the freedom to explore her own identity–through anti-Vietnam protests and 1960s counterculture–Wilson embarks on a journey that ultimately brings her closer to her mother. After coming out as a lesbian, Wilson learns her mother is also gay, and that her depression was fueled by her love affair with a woman that was “forbidden and punished” by the repressive society of the 1950s. Through sharing her personal tale of forgiveness and unconditional love, Wilson breaks the silence on the trauma of oppression and the ecstasy of self-acceptance.”
“Chana Wilson has done a wonderful thing—putting on the page so much grief, fear, and stubborn awe-inspiring endurance. We rarely look closely at complicated relationships like the one she had with her mother, and even more rarely look at how they change over time. This is not heroes and villains, but a layered, intimate exchange in which it seems the child is never quite allowed to be a child—and yet still manages to hang onto a carefully constructed loving closeness.”
—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
Chana Wilson is a psychotherapist and a former radio producer and television engineer. She began her career in broadcast journalism as a radio programmer with KPFA in Berkeley,CA. For six years, she was host of “A World Wind,” a weekly music show that included interviews with musicians, poets, and writers. Her essays and memoir excerpts have appeared in the print journals The Sun and Sinister Wisdom, online at Roadwork and Aunt Lute, and in several anthologies.
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