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The Tricky Part: One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace

by

The Tricky Part: One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace Cover

 

Staff Pick

A good memoir has two perspectives. It tells the story of one life with intimate details and precision and, at the same time, it stands back, years away from those details, and tells the story of the same events with different self-knowledge. The reader learns as the memoirist learns, by retelling the story from an adult perspective. In The Tricky Part, Martin Moran takes us on his journey of learning as he transforms his experience of being sexually molested as a young boy. He attempts to pull the strings apart, to salvage the good things that are so entwined with the hurtful things that happened to him. That is the tricky part of life that Moran so beautifully articulates. This is not just another confessional, but a lyrical treatise on the complexities of life.
Recommended by Miriam, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he' d met at a Catholic boys' camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family— his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged to Christ the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob— a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox— that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.

" Martin Moran has written a story about difficult, painful and deeply personal events in his life with uncommon generosity and decency. The story is shocking, even brutal, but I felt cleansed at its end. He has found compassion where I would have thought there was none. When art does that, it enriches us, and his book isart."

— Terrence McNally, Tony Award– winning author of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

" A beautiful book. Martin Moran is a graceful, witty, perceptive writer, remarkably brave, free of self-pity— his spirit, manifest on every page, is discerning and generous to the point of radiance. He' s a scrupulous and precise rememberer and explorer, and because he refuses simplification for the sake of judgment and yet insists on the necessity of rendering judgment, The Tricky Part is fully human, unsettling and wise."

— Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America

" Those of us— and we are legion— whose innocence has not been lost so much as taken, have a choice. We can remain children and insist on a black and white vision of perpetrators and victims, or, like Martin Moran, we can grow up. We can arrive at the understanding that love is only as pure, or as whole, or as beautiful, as the always imperfect beings who offer and demand it."

— Kathryn Harrison, author of The Kiss

" Martin Moran not only writes unflinchingly about the sexual abuse of a child, he expands it into a meditation on suffering, despair, forgiveness, redemption, and the mysterious workings of grace. He elevates the confessional to the level of art."

— Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours

" Martin Moran has written an account of a childhood at once conventional and nearly unfathomable. A deep, tempered spirit shines through every page, by turns understated and dazzling, wildly comic and gut wrenching."

— Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

" A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation. Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: the paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life. Gorgeously written, the book is a divine literary and spiritual exorcism."

— Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

" In an age where reality television exploits intimacy, and tell-all autobiographies have become endemic, Martin Moran' s book restores faith in the literary memoir. In documenting his troubling childhood relationship with a much older man, he eschews ready sensationalism and— instead— bravely articulates the complexities that color even the most taboo relationships. And he accomplishes it all with a prose style that is rich, immediate and constantly surprising. His is a book both haunting and profound."

— Doug Wright, author of Quills and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for I Am My Own Wife

" The Tricky Part is that rare, triumphant thing— a book so bravely remembered and so fully imagined as to be capable of rendering a life in all of its moral complexity."

— Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows

Review:

"To everyone else in the Denver neighborhood where he grew up in the '70s, Moran was a studious Catholic boy. No one knew he carried a secret that would fester for 30 years and lead to extreme anxiety, sexual compulsion and suicide attempts. At age 12 he met Bob, a church camp counselor in his 30s who, for several years, took Moran hiking and camping, and had sex with him. Moran painfully recounts the inner workings of a lonely, insecure adolescent who, out of a desperate need for friendship and acceptance, continued a sexual relationship with a man 20 years his senior. Feeling guilty and shameful regarding the affair and his homosexuality, Moran lived a life in which the erotic and the illicit fused, and compulsive sex became a means of self-punishment. Over the years, Moran, now a writer and actor, managed to glean bits of guidance and self-acceptance from his aunt, a contemplative nun; a New Age music teacher; friends; and eventually, recovery groups and therapy. Moran's Catholic-American gothic differs from other abuse/recovery/coming-out memoirs in that it examines a uniquely gay mind/body split as it subtly reflects on a gay man's spiritual quest for self-determination and love. Agent, Malaga Baldi Literary. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation, Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: The paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life.

Synopsis:

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he'd met at a Catholic boys' camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family-his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged to Christ the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob-a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox-that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.

Synopsis:

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor hed met at a Catholic boys camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family—his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged toChrist the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob—a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox—that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.

“Martin Moran has written a story about difficult, painful and deeply personal events in his life with uncommon generosity and decency. The story is shocking, even brutal, but I felt cleansed at its end. He has found compassion where I would have thought there was none. When art does that, it enriches us, and his book is art.” —Terrence McNally, Tony Award–winning author of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

“A beautiful book. Martin Moran is a graceful, witty, perceptive writer, remarkably brave, free of self-pity—his spirit, manifest on every page, is discerning and generous to the point of radiance. Hes a scrupulous and precise rememberer and explorer, and because he refuses simplification for the sake of judgment and yet insists on the necessity of rendering judgment, The Tricky Part is fully human, unsettling and wise.” —Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America

“Those of us—and we are legion—whose innocence has not been lost so much as taken, have a choice. We can remain children and insist on a black and white vision of perpetrators and victims, or, like Martin Moran, we can grow up. We can arrive at the understanding that love is only as pure, or as whole, or as beautiful, as the always imperfect beings who offer and demand it.” —Kathryn Harrison, author of The Kiss

“Martin Moran not only writes unflinchingly about the sexual abuse of a child, he expands it into a meditation on suffering, despair, forgiveness, redemption, and the mysterious workings of grace. He elevates the confessional to the level of art.” —Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours

“Martin Moran has written an account of a childhood at once conventional and nearly unfathomable. A deep, tempered spirit shines through every page, by turns understated and dazzling, wildly comic and gut wrenching.” —Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

“A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation. Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: the paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life. Gorgeously written, the book is a divine literary and spiritual exorcism.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

“In an age where reality television exploits intimacy, and tell-all autobiographies have become endemic, Martin Morans book restores faith in the literary memoir. In documenting his troubling childhood relationship with a much older man, he eschews ready sensationalism and—instead—bravely articulates the complexities that color even the most taboo relationships. And he accomplishes it all with a prose style that is rich, immediate and constantly surprising. His is a book both haunting and profound.” —Doug Wright, author of Quills and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for I Am My Own Wife

“The Tricky Part is that rare, triumphant thing—a book so bravely remembered and so fully imagined as to be capable of rendering a life in all of its moral complexity.” —Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows

About the Author

Martin Moran makes his living as an actor and writer in New York City. He has appeared in many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Titanic, Cabaret, Bells Are Ringing, and Floyd Collins. He won a 2004 Obie Award for his one-man play, The Tricky Part, which New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley praised for the quiet victory of "rendering chaos with this kind of clarity." Moran continues to perform The Tricky Part all over the country.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807072622
Subtitle:
One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace
Author:
Moran, Martin
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Actors & Actresses
Subject:
Actors
Subject:
Clergy
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20050615
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
0.0 x 0.0 x 0.0 in 1.26 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Abuse » Personal Stories
Religion » Christianity » Catholicism

The Tricky Part: One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace Used Hardcover
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$1.95 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807072622 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A good memoir has two perspectives. It tells the story of one life with intimate details and precision and, at the same time, it stands back, years away from those details, and tells the story of the same events with different self-knowledge. The reader learns as the memoirist learns, by retelling the story from an adult perspective. In The Tricky Part, Martin Moran takes us on his journey of learning as he transforms his experience of being sexually molested as a young boy. He attempts to pull the strings apart, to salvage the good things that are so entwined with the hurtful things that happened to him. That is the tricky part of life that Moran so beautifully articulates. This is not just another confessional, but a lyrical treatise on the complexities of life.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "To everyone else in the Denver neighborhood where he grew up in the '70s, Moran was a studious Catholic boy. No one knew he carried a secret that would fester for 30 years and lead to extreme anxiety, sexual compulsion and suicide attempts. At age 12 he met Bob, a church camp counselor in his 30s who, for several years, took Moran hiking and camping, and had sex with him. Moran painfully recounts the inner workings of a lonely, insecure adolescent who, out of a desperate need for friendship and acceptance, continued a sexual relationship with a man 20 years his senior. Feeling guilty and shameful regarding the affair and his homosexuality, Moran lived a life in which the erotic and the illicit fused, and compulsive sex became a means of self-punishment. Over the years, Moran, now a writer and actor, managed to glean bits of guidance and self-acceptance from his aunt, a contemplative nun; a New Age music teacher; friends; and eventually, recovery groups and therapy. Moran's Catholic-American gothic differs from other abuse/recovery/coming-out memoirs in that it examines a uniquely gay mind/body split as it subtly reflects on a gay man's spiritual quest for self-determination and love. Agent, Malaga Baldi Literary. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation, Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: The paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life.
"Synopsis" by , Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he'd met at a Catholic boys' camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family-his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged to Christ the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob-a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox-that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.

"Synopsis" by ,
Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor hed met at a Catholic boys camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family—his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged toChrist the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob—a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox—that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.

“Martin Moran has written a story about difficult, painful and deeply personal events in his life with uncommon generosity and decency. The story is shocking, even brutal, but I felt cleansed at its end. He has found compassion where I would have thought there was none. When art does that, it enriches us, and his book is art.” —Terrence McNally, Tony Award–winning author of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

“A beautiful book. Martin Moran is a graceful, witty, perceptive writer, remarkably brave, free of self-pity—his spirit, manifest on every page, is discerning and generous to the point of radiance. Hes a scrupulous and precise rememberer and explorer, and because he refuses simplification for the sake of judgment and yet insists on the necessity of rendering judgment, The Tricky Part is fully human, unsettling and wise.” —Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America

“Those of us—and we are legion—whose innocence has not been lost so much as taken, have a choice. We can remain children and insist on a black and white vision of perpetrators and victims, or, like Martin Moran, we can grow up. We can arrive at the understanding that love is only as pure, or as whole, or as beautiful, as the always imperfect beings who offer and demand it.” —Kathryn Harrison, author of The Kiss

“Martin Moran not only writes unflinchingly about the sexual abuse of a child, he expands it into a meditation on suffering, despair, forgiveness, redemption, and the mysterious workings of grace. He elevates the confessional to the level of art.” —Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours

“Martin Moran has written an account of a childhood at once conventional and nearly unfathomable. A deep, tempered spirit shines through every page, by turns understated and dazzling, wildly comic and gut wrenching.” —Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

“A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation. Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: the paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life. Gorgeously written, the book is a divine literary and spiritual exorcism.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

“In an age where reality television exploits intimacy, and tell-all autobiographies have become endemic, Martin Morans book restores faith in the literary memoir. In documenting his troubling childhood relationship with a much older man, he eschews ready sensationalism and—instead—bravely articulates the complexities that color even the most taboo relationships. And he accomplishes it all with a prose style that is rich, immediate and constantly surprising. His is a book both haunting and profound.” —Doug Wright, author of Quills and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for I Am My Own Wife

“The Tricky Part is that rare, triumphant thing—a book so bravely remembered and so fully imagined as to be capable of rendering a life in all of its moral complexity.” —Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows

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