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Falling through the Earth: A Memoir

by

Falling through the Earth: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A daughter's unforgettable memoir of her wild and haunted father, a man whose war never really ended.

From her father, Danielle Trussoni learned rock and roll, how to avoid the cops, and never to shy away from a fight. Growing up, she was fascinated by stories of his adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he risked his life crawling headfirst into holes to search for American POWs held underground. Ultimately, Danielle came to believe that when the man she adored drank too much, beat up strangers, or mistreated her mother, it was because the horror of those tunnels still lived inside him. Eventually her mom gave up and left, taking all the kids except one: Danielle. When everyone else walked away and washed their hands of Dan Trussoni, Danielle would not. Now she tells their story.

As Danielle trails her father through nights at Roscoe's Vogue Bar, scores of wild girlfriends, and years of bad dreams, a vivid and poignant portrait of a father-daughter relationship unlike any other emerges. Although the Trussonis are fiercely committed to each other, theirs is a love story filled with anger, stubbornness, outrageous behavior, and battle scars that never completely heal.

Beautifully told in a voice that is defiant, funny, and yet sometimes heartbreaking, Falling through the Earth immediately joins the ranks of those classic memoirs whose characters imprint themselves indelibly into readers' lives.

Falling through the Earth is the winner of the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award for 2005/06. It was chosen by Marilynne Robinson and James A. McPherson. The award is given every two years by the workshop to honor the best book written by a graduate of the workshop during this time.

Review:

"Trussoni's memoir tells many potentially interesting stories: of her father's traumatic experiences as a Vietnam tunnel rat; of her own smalltown Wisconsin childhood in the 1980s with a volatile dad; of her flirtations with delinquency; and of her family history of implied criminal links (involving 'the Italian mafia, drug smuggling, and a Chicago pizza joint'). As Trussoni's sister suggests, these are all stories of unconventional lives worthy of "an episode on Jerry Springer.' Alas, the book Trussoni has produced, while well-crafted, as befits an Iowa Writers' Workshop alum and award winner, is deadly dull. Told in fashionably nonlinear style, these juxtaposed tales become a hodge-podge shoving the reader about, from hanging out at Roscoe's bar with Trussoni's father, to purchasing a notebook, to getting a bad haircut. Her brother gets hit by a car, her sister gets pregnant after a one-night stand, her father gets cancer. Off and on, a war souvenir skull surfaces, as does a stalker, adding mystery without eventual clarity. In this awkward weave of her father's tale with her self-absorbed growing-up memoir, Trussoni sacrifices emphasis and dilutes empathy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Trussoni has taken an extended trip to hell and come back with treasures from that drunken, burning, broken place....Even if this book were not urgently important and devastatingly timely, I'd still urge you to read it for the sheer triumph of the author's gift." Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Review:

"Trussoni's memoir is a richly textured history of her father's war and the long term effects his service had on her and her family....This is an important and harrowing story." Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

Review:

"Danielle Trussoni unflinchingly explores a daughter's love for her flawed father and confronts the demons that haunt them both....[T]ender and tough, harrowing and triumphant. Jeanette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

Review:

"Like the fearless father she takes after, Danielle Trussoni tunnels at her story from both ends: Through the rabbit hole of childhood, she explores a tumultuous divorce. From the trench of adulthood, she leads us through a country still poisoned by war. But Falling through the Earth has an innermost chamber. It is a place of profound depth and beauty, where Trussoni unearths Trussoni herself." Koren Zailckas, author of Smashed

Review:

"One of the best portrayals in recent memory of what it's like to grow up in a screwed-up, working-class family." Booklist

Review:

"All three story lines are intertwined into an extremely engaging, novel-like narrative that leaves an indelible imprint on the heart and mind." Library Journal

Review:

"Beautifully written and honestly rendered, [Falling through the Earth] shows how war reverberates through the families of survivors: the failed marriages, scarred children and misdirected lives." Dan Pope, Hartford Courant

Review:

"The affection, respect and humor [Trussoni] brings to the task of revealing this complicated individual is testimony both to her creative abilities and to the generosity of her spirit." Kathryn Harrison, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[A] superb memoir. [Trussoni] has composed a modern-day father-quest true-life story and by doing so she has bridged the gap between those who fought in the Vietnam War and those who grew up in the following decades. She writes for those who remain slightly afraid yet always driven by a need to understand others' psychic convulsions. Her book is a captivating triumph." Michael James, The Capital Times (Madison)

Synopsis:

 
One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year
 
From her charismatic father, Danielle Trussoni learned how to rock and roll, outrun the police, and never shy away from a fight. Spending hour upon hour trailing him around the bars and honky-tonks of La Crosse, Wisconsin, young Danielle grew up fascinated by stories of her dad's adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he'd risked his life crawling head first into narrow passageways to search for American POWs.

 

A vivid and poignant portrait of a daughter's relationship with her father, this funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written memoir "makes plain that the horror of war doesn't end in the trenches" (Vanity Fair).

Synopsis:

A daughters unforgettable memoir of her wild and haunted father, a man whose war never really ended

     From her father, Danielle Trussoni learned rock and roll, how to avoid the cops, and never to shy away from a fight. Growing up, she was fascinated by stories of his adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he risked his life crawling headfirst into holes to search for American POWs held underground. Ultimately, Danielle came to believe that when the man she adored drank too much, beat up strangers, or mistreated her mother, it was because the horror of those tunnels still lived inside him. Eventually her mom gave up and left, taking all the kids except one: Danielle. When everyone else walked away and washed their hands of Dan Trussoni, Danielle would not. Now she tells their story.

     As Danielle trails her father through nights at Roscoes Vogue Bar, scores of wild girlfriends, and years of bad dreams, a vivid and poignant portrait of a father-daughter relationship unlike any other emerges. Although the Trussonis are fiercely committed to each other, theirs is a love story filled with anger, stubbornness, outrageous behavior, and battle scars that never completely heal.

     Beautifully told in a voice that is defiant, funny, and yet sometimes heartbreaking, Falling Through the Earth immediately joins the ranks of those classic memoirs whose characters imprint themselves indelibly into readers lives.

Falling Through the Earth is the winner of the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award for 2005–06. It was chosen by Marilynne Robinson and James A. McPherson. The award is given every two years by the workshop to honor the best book written by a graduate of the workshop during this time.

"Trussoni carves out an image of her father that is at once fascinating and terrible. The Dan Trussoni who returned from Vietnam to start a family is a distant, neglectful father and husband; he drinks, he brawls, he womanizes. He keeps a human skull among his war mementos, as well as photographs of the men he killed . . . The book's greatest strength is this portrayal of the conflicted attachment Trussoni feels toward her father, particularly during the few years she lived alone with him—which mostly meant sitting beside him at Roscoe's bar, listening to war stories, then riding home in his truck while local police gave chase. These grittier scenes showcase Trussoni's ability to gaze cleareyed at the hard facts of her childhood, and they reveal an author who is admirable not because she suffered but because of the fearless spirit she no doubt inherited from her father . . . Trussoni's portraits of Vietnam—in the contemporary scenes from her pilgrimage and in the re-creations of her father's war experiences—are vivid and engrossing. And any attempt to examine the second-generation effects of the Vietnam experience is surely worthwhile . . . A wonderfully complex and penetrating book . . . [T]his is an accomplished debut from a writer with many talents."—Valerie Laken, Chicago Tribune
 
"[A] beautiful, warts-and-all memoir . . . The achievement of Falling Through the Cracks provides strong evidence that [Trussoni] has made something of her life."—Marc Leepson, The VVA Veteran
 
"Trussoni has taken an extended trip to hell and come back with treasures from that drunken, burning, broken place. She writes of the effects of war, the 'pity of war, and the pity that war distills' without a hint of self-pity, with surprising humor, disarming candor, a hard-won wisdom and with uncannily sure-footed prose. Even if this book were not urgently important and devastatingly timely, Id still urge you to read it for the sheer triumph of the author's gift."—Alexandra Fuller, author of Dont Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight
 
"Danielle Trussoni unflinchingly explores a daughter's love for her flawed father and confronts the demons that haunt them both. Falling Through the Earth is tender and tough, harrowing and triumphant."—Jeanette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

"Trussoni's memoir is a richly textured history of her father's war and the long term effects his service had on her and her family. With Falling Through the Earth she delivers a salient and timely reminder that a war's victims aren't limited to those in uniform nor demarcated by geography. This is an important and harrowing story."—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

About the Author

Danielle Trussoni, who grew up and now lives in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. On the strength of the first 20 pages she ever wrote (which became part of this book) she was admitted to the Iowa Writers' Workshop from which she graduated in May 2002.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805077322
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Trussoni, Danielle
Manufactured:
Henry Holt & Company, LLC
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Vietnamese conflict, 1961-1975
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Subject:
Veterans
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070220
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Family Issues

Falling through the Earth: A Memoir Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.98 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805077322 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Trussoni's memoir tells many potentially interesting stories: of her father's traumatic experiences as a Vietnam tunnel rat; of her own smalltown Wisconsin childhood in the 1980s with a volatile dad; of her flirtations with delinquency; and of her family history of implied criminal links (involving 'the Italian mafia, drug smuggling, and a Chicago pizza joint'). As Trussoni's sister suggests, these are all stories of unconventional lives worthy of "an episode on Jerry Springer.' Alas, the book Trussoni has produced, while well-crafted, as befits an Iowa Writers' Workshop alum and award winner, is deadly dull. Told in fashionably nonlinear style, these juxtaposed tales become a hodge-podge shoving the reader about, from hanging out at Roscoe's bar with Trussoni's father, to purchasing a notebook, to getting a bad haircut. Her brother gets hit by a car, her sister gets pregnant after a one-night stand, her father gets cancer. Off and on, a war souvenir skull surfaces, as does a stalker, adding mystery without eventual clarity. In this awkward weave of her father's tale with her self-absorbed growing-up memoir, Trussoni sacrifices emphasis and dilutes empathy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Trussoni has taken an extended trip to hell and come back with treasures from that drunken, burning, broken place....Even if this book were not urgently important and devastatingly timely, I'd still urge you to read it for the sheer triumph of the author's gift."
"Review" by , "Trussoni's memoir is a richly textured history of her father's war and the long term effects his service had on her and her family....This is an important and harrowing story."
"Review" by , "Danielle Trussoni unflinchingly explores a daughter's love for her flawed father and confronts the demons that haunt them both....[T]ender and tough, harrowing and triumphant.
"Review" by , "Like the fearless father she takes after, Danielle Trussoni tunnels at her story from both ends: Through the rabbit hole of childhood, she explores a tumultuous divorce. From the trench of adulthood, she leads us through a country still poisoned by war. But Falling through the Earth has an innermost chamber. It is a place of profound depth and beauty, where Trussoni unearths Trussoni herself."
"Review" by , "One of the best portrayals in recent memory of what it's like to grow up in a screwed-up, working-class family."
"Review" by , "All three story lines are intertwined into an extremely engaging, novel-like narrative that leaves an indelible imprint on the heart and mind."
"Review" by , "Beautifully written and honestly rendered, [Falling through the Earth] shows how war reverberates through the families of survivors: the failed marriages, scarred children and misdirected lives."
"Review" by , "The affection, respect and humor [Trussoni] brings to the task of revealing this complicated individual is testimony both to her creative abilities and to the generosity of her spirit."
"Review" by , "[A] superb memoir. [Trussoni] has composed a modern-day father-quest true-life story and by doing so she has bridged the gap between those who fought in the Vietnam War and those who grew up in the following decades. She writes for those who remain slightly afraid yet always driven by a need to understand others' psychic convulsions. Her book is a captivating triumph."
"Synopsis" by ,
 
One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year
 
From her charismatic father, Danielle Trussoni learned how to rock and roll, outrun the police, and never shy away from a fight. Spending hour upon hour trailing him around the bars and honky-tonks of La Crosse, Wisconsin, young Danielle grew up fascinated by stories of her dad's adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he'd risked his life crawling head first into narrow passageways to search for American POWs.

 

A vivid and poignant portrait of a daughter's relationship with her father, this funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written memoir "makes plain that the horror of war doesn't end in the trenches" (Vanity Fair).

"Synopsis" by ,
A daughters unforgettable memoir of her wild and haunted father, a man whose war never really ended

     From her father, Danielle Trussoni learned rock and roll, how to avoid the cops, and never to shy away from a fight. Growing up, she was fascinated by stories of his adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he risked his life crawling headfirst into holes to search for American POWs held underground. Ultimately, Danielle came to believe that when the man she adored drank too much, beat up strangers, or mistreated her mother, it was because the horror of those tunnels still lived inside him. Eventually her mom gave up and left, taking all the kids except one: Danielle. When everyone else walked away and washed their hands of Dan Trussoni, Danielle would not. Now she tells their story.

     As Danielle trails her father through nights at Roscoes Vogue Bar, scores of wild girlfriends, and years of bad dreams, a vivid and poignant portrait of a father-daughter relationship unlike any other emerges. Although the Trussonis are fiercely committed to each other, theirs is a love story filled with anger, stubbornness, outrageous behavior, and battle scars that never completely heal.

     Beautifully told in a voice that is defiant, funny, and yet sometimes heartbreaking, Falling Through the Earth immediately joins the ranks of those classic memoirs whose characters imprint themselves indelibly into readers lives.

Falling Through the Earth is the winner of the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award for 2005–06. It was chosen by Marilynne Robinson and James A. McPherson. The award is given every two years by the workshop to honor the best book written by a graduate of the workshop during this time.

"Trussoni carves out an image of her father that is at once fascinating and terrible. The Dan Trussoni who returned from Vietnam to start a family is a distant, neglectful father and husband; he drinks, he brawls, he womanizes. He keeps a human skull among his war mementos, as well as photographs of the men he killed . . . The book's greatest strength is this portrayal of the conflicted attachment Trussoni feels toward her father, particularly during the few years she lived alone with him—which mostly meant sitting beside him at Roscoe's bar, listening to war stories, then riding home in his truck while local police gave chase. These grittier scenes showcase Trussoni's ability to gaze cleareyed at the hard facts of her childhood, and they reveal an author who is admirable not because she suffered but because of the fearless spirit she no doubt inherited from her father . . . Trussoni's portraits of Vietnam—in the contemporary scenes from her pilgrimage and in the re-creations of her father's war experiences—are vivid and engrossing. And any attempt to examine the second-generation effects of the Vietnam experience is surely worthwhile . . . A wonderfully complex and penetrating book . . . [T]his is an accomplished debut from a writer with many talents."—Valerie Laken, Chicago Tribune
 
"[A] beautiful, warts-and-all memoir . . . The achievement of Falling Through the Cracks provides strong evidence that [Trussoni] has made something of her life."—Marc Leepson, The VVA Veteran
 
"Trussoni has taken an extended trip to hell and come back with treasures from that drunken, burning, broken place. She writes of the effects of war, the 'pity of war, and the pity that war distills' without a hint of self-pity, with surprising humor, disarming candor, a hard-won wisdom and with uncannily sure-footed prose. Even if this book were not urgently important and devastatingly timely, Id still urge you to read it for the sheer triumph of the author's gift."—Alexandra Fuller, author of Dont Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight
 
"Danielle Trussoni unflinchingly explores a daughter's love for her flawed father and confronts the demons that haunt them both. Falling Through the Earth is tender and tough, harrowing and triumphant."—Jeanette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

"Trussoni's memoir is a richly textured history of her father's war and the long term effects his service had on her and her family. With Falling Through the Earth she delivers a salient and timely reminder that a war's victims aren't limited to those in uniform nor demarcated by geography. This is an important and harrowing story."—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

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