The Glass Eye was a surprise. Instead of being a simple story about a daughter who loses her father, it takes on a life on its own. Vanasco's grief isn't simple. Instead, you're left sitting there with tears in your eyes and a sob in your throat, because you realize just how much her father’s death affected her, even when the subject switches to her mental illness or relationships with her mother and others. Read this book. It will change you. Recommended By Katherine M., Powells.com
Jeannie Vanasco grew up in the shadow of her dead half-sister, Jeanne. In her deftly written memoir, she examines how this experience, along with her father’s death and a difficult-to-diagnose mental illness, left her haunted and obsessed. You too will be transfixed by Vanasco’s strange, remarkable story. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
For fans of Maggie Nelson and Meghan O’Rourke, Jeannie Vanasco emerges as a definitive new voice in this stunning portrait of a daughter’s love for her father and her near-unraveling after his death.
The night before her father dies, 18-year-old Jeannie Vanasco promises she will write a book for him. But this isn’t the book she imagined. The Glass Eye is Jeannie’s struggle to honor her father, her larger-than-life hero but also the man who named her after his daughter from a previous marriage, a daughter who died.
After his funeral, Jeannie spends the next decade in escalating mania, in and out of hospitals — increasingly obsessed with the other Jeanne. Obsession turns to investigation as Jeannie plumbs her childhood awareness of her dead half-sibling and hunts for clues into the mysterious circumstances of her death. It becomes a puzzle Jeannie feels she must solve to better understand herself and her father.
Jeannie Vanasco pulls us into her unraveling with such intimacy that her insanity becomes palpable, even logical. A brilliant exploration of the human psyche, The Glass Eye deepens our definitions of love, sanity, grief, and recovery.
"A deceptively spare life story that sneaks up and surprises you with its sudden fecundity and power." Kirkus Reviews
"Powerful and ruminative...This is an illuminating manual for understanding grief and the strange places it leads." Publishers Weekly
"Vanasco’s candor, curiosity, and commitment to human understanding are not to be missed." Booklist, Starred Review
"The Glass Eye signals the arrival of an exceptionally fine new voice." Alexandra Styron, author of Reading My Father
About the Author
Jeannie Vanasco has written for the Believer, Little Star Journal, NewYorker.com, Times Literary Supplement, Tin House, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, she now lives in Baltimore and teaches at Towson University.
Jeannie Vanasco on PowellsBooks.Blog
In case I needed to outsmart a criminal someday, I taped Columbo
episodes and watched them compulsively, studying his investigative techniques...