The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$8.95
List price: $17.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Gender Studies- Gay Studies

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir

by

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9781580054324
ISBN10: 1580054323
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $8.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1958, when Chana Wilson was seven, her mother held a rifle to her head and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed and she was taken away to a mental hospital. On her return, Chana became the caretaker of her heavily medicated, suicidal mother. It would be many years before she learned the secret of her mothers anguish: her love affair with another married woman, and the psychiatric treatment aimed at curing her of her lesbianism.

Riding Fury Home spans forty years of the intense, complex relationship between Chana and her mother—the trauma of their early years together, the transformation and joy they found when they both came out in the 1970s, and the deep bond that grew between them. From the intolerance of the '50s to the exhilaration of the womens movement of the '70s and beyond, the book traces the profound ways in which their two lives were impacted by the social landscape of their time. Exquisitely written and devastatingly honest, Riding Fury Home is a shattering account of one familys struggle against homophobia and mental illness — and a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and redemption.

Review:

"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. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"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

Review:

"Chana Wilson's astonishing story is a hybrid of nightmare and fairy tale in which every child's worst fears and fondest hopes about their mother come true." Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

About the Author

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, California. Her work hosting the KPFA program A World Wind — in which she interviewed poets, musicians, writers and activists — sparked her desire to work with people on a deeper level. Now a psychotherapist for twenty-four years, she credits the extraordinary courage of her clients for inspiring her to write. Wilson's writing has appeared in the print journals The Sun and Sinister Wisdom, the online journals Roadwork and Aunt Lute, and in several anthologies.

Since the mid-eighties, Wilson has been playing percussion with the womens samba band Sistah Boom.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

sunflower111, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by sunflower111)
beautiful story of love and forgiveness wrapped up in a 60's childhood and
coming of age in the 70's.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
FeministProf, April 9, 2012 (view all comments by FeministProf)
Riding Fury Home is an emotional roller-coaster of a book, filled with gut-wrenching lows and transcendent highs.

I read this book with a great deal of interest, as its material covers many of the fields I teach: Memoir, 20th-century American Literature, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. Because I recently published a book about confessional writing, I am also interested in the ways people have experienced and written about the intersections amongst psychiatry, sexuality, and women’s issues. I found this book to be a rewarding and enriching read on all of these fronts.

Riding Fury Home tells the harrowing story of the author’s relationship with her suicidal mother. The childhood section, in which the mother, Gloria, attempts suicide on four separate occasions, is disturbing and often painful. After her first attempt, Gloria is institutionalized and undergoes numerous painful and debilitating shock treatments. Finally, she is sent home, heavily sedated and still clearly depressed. Inexplicably, her husband chooses to take an overseas job, leaving her home alone with her young daughter, who must cope on her own. The descriptions of this year, when the author--still only a child�"had to care for her ill, medicated, clinically depressed mother, of her confused feelings of shame, anger, resentment, concern, and love, are affecting and powerful.

The next section of the book moves from the trauma of the author’s childhood to the independence of college life. A series of failed relationships with men gives way to an awakening connection with the lesbian community and a joyous period of self-discovery in which the author comes out as a lesbian. The descriptions of San Francisco in the seventies, of the consciousness-raising groups, the women’s movement, and the cultural and political scene (complete with government surveillance and spies!), are valuable pieces of social history. It is only after the author comes out to her mother that Gloria opens up about her own past, revealing that her first suicide attempt followed the break-up of a love affair she’d had with another married woman. Seen in light of her own closeted sexuality, her depression can be understood as the failed attempt to conform to compulsory heterosexuality, to lead a conventionally scripted life of wife and mother. Gloria’s revelations about the ways the medical establishment tried to “fix” her by reinstating her into a traditionally gendered life provide valuable insight into the homophobia that both contributed to and exacerbated her mental illness.

The book’s final sections are among the most affecting, as the author and her mother repair the damage their relationship has suffered through their shared connection with other women and with their emerging lesbian identities. Having once been fraught and miserable, their relationship becomes open and joyous, and the healing that is depicted here is cathartic and inspirational. Riding Fury Home will be of interest to anyone interested in gay and lesbian issues, in American history, and in the always complicated relationship between mothers and daughters.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Rose Ruston, April 3, 2012 (view all comments by Rose Ruston)
In prose of dazzling clarity, Chana Wilson’s memoir Riding Fury Home describes the life of a Jewish-American family in 1950s New Jersey. As we find out, this family, living quietly in a beautiful, sun-filled house, was in the grip of destructive social forces beyond their control. The same little girl who played in the woods and adored her puppy was forced repeatedly to protect her Mom, Gloria, from suicide. Gloria had met the terrifying fate inflicted upon many of our Lesbian and Gay forebears: Unhappy in a heterosexual marriage, she fell in love with a woman, lost her, and was forced to hide her true self. Descending into serious depression, Gloria was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital and given coercive electroshock therapy. This “treatment” only worsened her fragile mental state. Chana’s father, frayed beyond breaking point, left his young daughter to cope alone with her Mom.

Blessed with innate resilience and a loving foundation with her parents, Chana wasn’t destroyed by her traumatic experiences. As she recounts with gentle humor, she grew up, came out, and found the healing joy of closeness with her Mom (who also came out). Chana and her Dad rebuilt their relationship, too, as he bravely supported her journey to understanding. Finally, Chana found love and marriage with a wonderful woman whose portrait she finely draws. In healing herself and helping her family to heal, and then writing the tale for us all to share, Chana is helping heal the world of the havoc wreaked by homophobia.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781580054324
Author:
Wilson, Chana
Publisher:
Seal Press (CA)
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. Bluefish New Trade Paper $6.99
  2. What the Animals Taught Me: Stories... Used Trade Paper $11.95

Related Subjects

Biography » Gay and Lesbian
Biography » General
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Gay Studies
Young Adult » General

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Seal Press - English 9781580054324 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Chana Wilson's astonishing story is a hybrid of nightmare and fairy tale in which every child's worst fears and fondest hopes about their mother come true."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.