LISTEN HERE. If you know you have a story inside of you that you need to tell, don’t let fear get in the way. Listen to memoirist Sue William Silverman share about writing her three memoirs and revealing hidden family secrets.
Sue is an author, public speaker and teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.
The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. (Her most recent–buy it here.)
Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, was also made into a Lifetime Television Original Movie.
Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction
Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir is for beginning and experienced writers alike, and is a road map for writing life stories. It is a step-by-step guide to shaping memory into art, to turning imagery into metaphor – all the elements needed to craft raw experience into a fully formed story.
Hieroglyphics in Neon is a collection of poetry, published by Orchises Press.
Here is a review of her new book, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. which she will read from on the show.
A series of riveting essays about growing up Jewish in a Gentile world by the accomplished memoirist Silverman.Having written haunting memoirs about being sexually abused by her father throughout her childhood (Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, 1996) and her subsequent sexual pathology (Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction, 2001), the author returns to another troubling theme that caused an early self-splintering. Moving between the Caribbean and New Jersey as her father pursued high-powered jobs as a government official and banker, Silverman fixated on Pat Boone as a kind of immaculate other, a talisman that would keep away all the unpleasantness from her life, such as an abusive father, stifling Christian community and Russian refugee grandmother with her strange shtetl ways. Comparing herself to a gefilte fish (not even a real fish but a “ball floating in jelly, stuffed in fish skin….All evidence of its fishness—its true identity—gone”), Silverman addresses readers in missives between chapters, imparting cohesiveness to the discrete, elliptical essays. For example, in the first essay, she writes of tracing her finger over an arresting photograph in Life magazine depicting Boone and his happy family of four daughters on a tandem bike; she was fascinated by the photo’s “whiteness,” how its “immaculate universe was safe, far away from my father’s all-too-real hands, hands that hurt me at night.” In “Endless Possibilities of Youth,” the author discusses how, as a young adult, she was told of the suicide of her Christian rival, which plunged her into a maelstrom of memory about their fickle high school boyfriend, the first of many non-Jewish men she was attracted to and who couldn’t quite accept her Jewishness.
A masterly stylist continues her uncompromising examination of the inner life.
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