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The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoirby Laurie Sandell
Synopses & Reviews
Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job — interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine.
Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is — not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them — herself.
"In this delightfully composed graphic novel, journalist Sandell (Glamour) illustrates a touchingly youthful story about a daughter's gushing love for her father. Using a winning mixture of straightforward comic-book illustrations with a first-person diarylike commentary, Sandell recounts the gradual realization from her young adulthood onward that her charming, larger-than-life Argentine father, bragging of war metals, degrees from prestigious universities and acquaintances with famous people, had lied egregiously to his family about his past and accomplishments. Growing up with her two younger sisters and parents first in California, then in Bronxville, N.Y., the author records signs along the way that her father, a professor of economics with a volatile temperament and autocratic manner, was hiding something, from his inexplicable trips out of town, increasing paranoid isolation, early name change from Schmidt to Sandell, to massive credit-card fraud. Interviewing her father for her first magazine article, the author resolved to check his sources and even flew later to confront his past in Argentina, only to discover the truth. Feeling betrayed, guilty for exposing him and mistrustful in her relationships with men, Sandell numbed herself by abusing Ambien and alcohol. Her depiction of her rehab adventure is rather pat and tidy, and she does not address the notion that her own creativity might have sprung from her father's very duplicity. However, Sandell's method of storytelling is marvelously unique and will surely spark imitators. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Impostor's Daughter is funny, frank, and absolutely engaging..." Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
"Sophisticated and spellbinding...The Impostor's Daughter, is rife with dramatic family dynamics, secrets, and subterfuges....By uncovering the buried truths of [her father's] past life, she claims her own coming-of-age story." Elle
"A stunner. From the opening page of Laurie Sandell's illustrated memoir, I was hooked.....You'll finish this page-turner in a single night — but the story will stay with you for much longer." Carole Radziwill, author of What Remains
About the Author
Laurie Sandell is a contributing editor at Glamour, where she writes cover stories, features, and personal essays. She has also written for Esquire, GQ, New York and In Style, among others. In her twenties, she spent four years traveling around the world, having unsavory experiences she later justified as "material."
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