Release Date: April 6, 2021
About The Book:
Gina Troisi’s father moved out when she was five years old, but before he left, he insisted on telling her about his various affairs—with prostitutes, with her mother’s friends, and finally, with his secretary, Brenda, whom he had decided to marry.
By the time she reached adolescence, on a search for respite from her father’s verbal abuse and Brenda’s psychological torment, Gina spent hours doing Jane Fonda’s workouts, smoked cigarettes instead of eating food, became obsessed with her thinness, and with the notion of fading away. She began to find solace in restlessness—drinking hallucinogenic mushroom tea and inhaling crushed pills and powders—perching herself on the periphery of danger again and again.
As an adult, when she finally glimpsed a better life for herself, her grandfather, who had been a surrogate father to her, became terminally ill, and she fell in love with John, a stranger who was utterly familiar, but who was addicted to heroin. She moved from New Hampshire to California, crossing the country in an attempt to alleviate her self-destructive tendencies, but found herself pulled back to New Hampshire, to John, a man with whom, despite his struggle, she could not deny the sense of home she felt. But what would it cost for a girl to run wildly and recklessly into womanhood, making instant, temporary homes? And would she ever find home within herself?
About The Author:
Gina Troisi received an MFA in creative nonfiction from The University of Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program in 2009. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Fourth Genre, The Gettysburg Review, Fugue, Under the Sun, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, and elsewhere. Her stories and essays have been recognized as finalists in several contests, including the 2020 Iron Horse Literary Review Trifecta Award in Fiction, the 2018 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction, the 2012 Iowa Review Award in Creative Nonfiction, the 2012 Bellevue Literary Review Nonfiction Prize, Bellingham Review’s 2012 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, and the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award for prose. She received an Honorable Mention for American Literary Review’s Creative Nonfiction Contest, 2018, and for Gulf Coast’s 2012 Nonfiction Prize. She served as Writer-in-Residence 2012 at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Gina teaches writing at Southern New Hampshire University. She also offers academic tutoring as well as one-on-one coaching for creative writers. Her debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, which was a semi-finalist for the Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose, 2020, a finalist for the 2018 Autumn House Press Full-Length Contest, a semi-finalist for Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award, 2015, a finalist for the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Narrative Nonfiction Prize and the 2012 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize, and was awarded Second Place in Memoir for Southwest Writers Competition in 2012, is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press in April of 2021. She is currently working on a novel-in-stories. https://gina-troisi.com/
“The psychological abuse Troisi endured as a child had my fists clenching in rage. It is almost a relief when she at last finds escape – in drugs, in codependent love, on the open road. But this is a story of powerful recovery in the truest sense of the word, the journey of a woman who reclaims a sense of home in the sanctity of the self.”– Domenica Ruta, New York Times Best Selling Author of With or Without You
“There’s an element of the mythic in Gina Troisi’s memoir: the evil stepmother, the father with misplaced family loyalties, the daughter whose light eventually shines. Except here the tale – as with much of real life – is riddled with addiction, both substance and sexual. And the heroine is far more likely to wear broken sandals than crystal slippers. Unlike Cinderella, Troisi’s journey to royalty (read sanity and acceptance) isn’t magical; it’s slow and hard-won. The story isn’t less miraculous for that, but more so.”– Sue William Silverman, Author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences
“In prose both lucid and visceral, Gina Troisi chronicles her progress through a very harsh landscape, one marked by casual cultural horrors and punishing intimate ones, the effects of conceit, emotional numbness and addiction on the part of others—a parent, step-parent, lover—that can entangle a caring person in pointless love and profound confusion. The narrator is remarkably honest about what she suffered and learned but also how she kept a thread of herself alive. How she comes through is inspiring in the basic sense—spirit making her whole, spirit finding itself in words.”
– Baron Wormser, Author of Songs From a Voice and The Road Washes Out in Spring
“A father’s serial impropriety marked Gina Troisi’s childhood and led to a maze of self and soul abuse, but don’t think for a minute that this is a story illuminated by anything dimmer than the brightest constellation. I leave these pages so grateful for this story, for the author’s bravery and honesty, and for this stunning illustration of how writing can carry us through” – Suzanne Strempek Shea, Author of Songs from a Lead-Lined Room
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