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Naked in the Promised Land

Naked in the Promised Land Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Her mother, whose family perished in the Holocaust, was racked by guilt at having come to America and left them behind; she suffered recurring psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout childhood was to become a movie star and "rescue" her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, and hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother?s suffering, she entered college (working her way through as a stripper) and became a brilliant student, ultimately achieving a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian — loving partner, devoted mother, charismatic and influential writer, and groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies. Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is the nakedly honest — and very American — story of an exceptional woman.

Review:

"As for so many other writers, a background of want and trauma proves a vein worth mining for Faderman....Despite some low-life experiences as an adult, Faderman eventually distinguished herself as a gay and lesbian studies scholar and, in this gripping memoir, as a superb writer." Whitney Scott, Booklist

Review:

"Exceedingly honest, endearing and profound, Faderman truly shows readers the distance she's traveled, from 'little momzer' to esteemed academic." Publisher's Weekly

Review:

"Noted gay-studies scholar Faderman (To Believe in Women, 1999, etc.) crafts one of those rare autobiographies that conscientiously detail the temptations of destructive behavior while also celebrating the resilience of the human spirit....Relentlessly honest and perceptive, but also loving toward an emotionally frail parent." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

Faderman (literature and creative writing, California State U. at Fresno) recounts the story of her youth and early adulthood. Born to a Latvian immigrant whose entirely family had been murdered in the Holocaust, causing or exacerbating her mental illness, Faderman grew up in Hollywood nursing dreams of movie stardom. She instead found herself working as a burlesque stripper while she worked for her PhD. and a position as a professor, hiding the two worlds from each other and the fact that she was lesbian from both. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Born in 1940, Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. She became a brilliant student, loving partner, devoted mother, influential writer, and groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies. Told with wrenching immediacy, this is the nakedly honest story of an exceptional woman. Photos.

Synopsis:

Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Her mother, whose family perished in the Holocaust, was racked by guilt at having come to America and left them behind; she suffered recurrent psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout an impoverished childhood was to become a movie star and "rescue" her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother's suffering, she entered the University of California at Berkeley and worked her way through college as a burlesque stripper. A brilliant student, she ultimately achieved a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian, the woman who in time became a loving partner, a devoted mother, an acclaimed writer, and a charismatic, groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies.

Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is an extraordinary memoir: the nakedly honest — and very American — story of an exceptional woman and her remarkable, unorthodox life.

About the Author

Lillian Faderman is the author of such acclaimed works as To Believe in Women, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and Surpassing the Love of Men. Among the many honors her work has received are the Yale University James Brudner Award for Exemplary Scholarship in Lesbian/Gay Studies, three Lambda Literary Awards, and the Paul Monette Award. She teaches literature and creative writing at California State University at Fresno.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments Vii I Lilly 1 How I Became an Overachiever 3 2 Going Crazy In East L.A. 24 3 Crushed 44 4 Men I 64 5 Shedding 87 II Lil 6 Hollywood 105 7 My Movie-Actress Nose 130 8 The Open Door 142 9 Getting the Gift of Wisdom 160 10 Kicked Out 173 11 A Jewish Prince 190 12 A Married Woman 207 III Lillian 13 Higher Education 227 14 How I Became a Burlesque Queen 247 15 Men II 267 16 Professor Faderman 286 17 How I Became a College Administrator 306 18 Sheaves of Oats 331 19 Epilogue 351

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

dutchessabroad, May 10, 2013 (view all comments by dutchessabroad)
I read "Naked in the Promised Land" in tandem with a more recent title by the same author, "My Mother's Wars" and highly recommend others do that as well. After reading an interview with Lillian Faderman in Tablet Magazine I Googled her and while I shouldn't have been, I was quite surprised to see lovely pin-up images between demure portrait pictures of the lauded professor. Naked in the Promised Land is a fascinating memoir, a coming of age story about a girl who, against all odds survives a difficult childhood and taxing adolescence to make it to the highest ranks of academia. You've got to love Lillian's spirit, the little Jewish girl in "pachuca-tight and short" skirt finding her way from East L.A. to the Borscht Belt and foot hills of Hollywood, and on to University. Powerful.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618128754
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Faderman, Lillian
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Location:
Boston
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Educators
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Lesbians
Subject:
Specific Groups - Lesbians
Subject:
Scholars
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Jews -- United States.
Subject:
Lesbians -- United States.
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
235
Publication Date:
February 2003
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Black-and-white photographs throughout
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.63 in 1.42 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General

Naked in the Promised Land
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618128754 Reviews:
"Review" by , "As for so many other writers, a background of want and trauma proves a vein worth mining for Faderman....Despite some low-life experiences as an adult, Faderman eventually distinguished herself as a gay and lesbian studies scholar and, in this gripping memoir, as a superb writer."
"Review" by , "Exceedingly honest, endearing and profound, Faderman truly shows readers the distance she's traveled, from 'little momzer' to esteemed academic."
"Review" by , "Noted gay-studies scholar Faderman (To Believe in Women, 1999, etc.) crafts one of those rare autobiographies that conscientiously detail the temptations of destructive behavior while also celebrating the resilience of the human spirit....Relentlessly honest and perceptive, but also loving toward an emotionally frail parent."
"Synopsis" by , Born in 1940, Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. She became a brilliant student, loving partner, devoted mother, influential writer, and groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies. Told with wrenching immediacy, this is the nakedly honest story of an exceptional woman. Photos.
"Synopsis" by ,
Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Her mother, whose family perished in the Holocaust, was racked by guilt at having come to America and left them behind; she suffered recurrent psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout an impoverished childhood was to become a movie star and "rescue" her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother's suffering, she entered the University of California at Berkeley and worked her way through college as a burlesque stripper. A brilliant student, she ultimately achieved a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian, the woman who in time became a loving partner, a devoted mother, an acclaimed writer, and a charismatic, groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies.

Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is an extraordinary memoir: the nakedly honest — and very American — story of an exceptional woman and her remarkable, unorthodox life.

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