Synopses & Reviews
A startling, remarkable poetry memoir of love and pain, hurt and recovery.
For three years, Eireann Corrigan was in and out of treatment facilities for her eating disorders. By the time she graduated high school, her doctors said she was going to die if things didn't change. That July, her high school boyfriend attempted suicide. In one gunshot moment, everything was altered.
In a striking and vivid voice, Eireann Corrigan recounts these events, finding meaning in the hurt, humor in the horror, and grace in the struggle that life demands. You Remind Me of You is a testament to the binding ties of love and pain, and the strange paths we take to recovery.
Corrigan, now in her 20s, recounts her experiences as a teenager with an eating disorder in a series of poems distinguished more by the shock value of their contents than by their insight or literary merit. Along with the graphic details of the adolescent Corrigan's secret stockpiles of sealed plastic bags containing her regurgitated meals and her ruses in feigning weight gain, topics include her high school boyfriend Daniel, who shoots himself between the eyes only to have the bullet ricochet out of an eye socket, leaving him alive and, eventually, able to function. Corrigan, still severely anorexic, is with another boyfriend, Ben, when the suicide attempt takes place, but she rushes to Daniel's bedside, aids in his slow recovery and realizes she wants to recover, too. (At some point Ben fatally drives his car into a tree.) Frequent attempts at irony don't deflect from the writer's absorption in her symptoms. Various incidents are rehashed repeatedly, even aggrandized (e.g., comparisons of herself and Daniel to Orpheus and Eurydice), but more fundamental narrative questions receive little attention: why, after all, do these individuals suffer in these particular ways? Corrigan acknowledges that her illness includes elements of competitiveness (as an inpatient, she and her fellows envy the clavicle of a particularly skeletal girl) and exhibitionism ("I wore sleeveless dresses even with scars on my wrists"); both these elements seem fully exploited here.--Publishers Weekly, March 4th 2002
In this eloquent and moving poetic memoir, Corrigan recounts her descent into anorexia. In and out of hospitals and treatment facilities for several years, she was unconvinced that her life was worth sustaining despite the frantic efforts of her family and boyfriend. She hid her vomit in plastic bags and buried them in the yard, and took dramatic measures to falsify her progress during weigh-ins. Corrigan was dancing with one boyfriend when another one unsuccessfully attempted suicide and when she read the newspaper detailing the event, she rushed to Daniel's bedside. She then bargained for his life-she would eat if he would live, and he did. Their slow recoveries parallel their growing deep love for one another, and they clung to one another for support, and comfort, and in sexual intimacy. The author's prose poetry is interspersed with interviews between herself and an unnamed therapist. The unusual and effective format sharpens each word, making readers savor and thoughtfully examine each poetic piece. They will also have to hold each puzzlelike entry into open space before judging which piece describes which point in time, given the loose, nonlinear framework. Overall, this book strongly complements the many fiction and nonfiction works on the topic.--School Library Journal
Story poems are becoming increasingly popular, and this one will have tremendous appeal for mature teens. High school student Corrigan recounts her experiences as she suffers through several hospitalizations because of her eating disorder. The skinnier she graduates from high school, her ex- boyfriend attempts suicide. Each poem can stand alone, but when read consecutively, all will lead the reader along Corrigan's emotional roller coaster as she deals with her own guilt, shame, fear, and eventual recovery. The reader does not need to know the name of the school she attends, the hospitals she goes to, or even what her family is like. Through her poetry readers will learn to recognize her and understand her world all too well. These poems uncover the raw emotions and the gut feelings that Corrigan struggles with. What is it like when Heather's lunch tray sits untouched and the nurse erases her name from the board without a word? What is it like to sit at the foot of the bed when your ex- boyfriend is in a coma? What is it like to want to be so small that you could disappear? These poems describe a young woman's effort to discover herself
This startling autobiographical account tells of a young woman's battle with eating disorders that put her in and out of hospitals over a span of four years and led to her own parents fighting for the right to commit her. When her last source of support, her boyfriend, attempts suicide and ends up in a coma, she is forced to find strength from within.
About the Author
Eireann Corrigan is the author of the poetry memoir You Remind Me of You, and the novels Splintering, Ordinary Ghosts, and Accomplice, which Publishers Weekly called "haunting and provocative" in a starred review. She lives in New Jersey.