Ithaka: a daughter's memoir of being found

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Basic Books, Nov 5, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 308 pages
”Hello, is Sarah Saffian there?” asks the voice on the other end of the line. ”My name is Hannah Morgan. I think I’m your birth mother.” So begins this powerful memoir by a young woman whose life changes dramatically when she receives a phone call from someone at once a stranger and her most intimate relation. Saffian’s riveting story of painful self-discovery and newfound joy is unique in its reversal of the usual adoption narrative: here, the biological parents seek out the adoptee. Weaving together letters, journal entries, memories and relections, Saffian tells of her adoption, her adoptive mother’s death six years later, and her upbringing in a loving family. She learns that her biological parents ended up marrying and having other children. She is thus faced with an entire family to whom she is genetically linked. Saffian’s boldly honest account reaches a moving climax with their reunion, three years after the first phone call. Along the way, it raises thorny questions: What is a family? Can we have more than one? What is the line between parental concern and intrusion? Is it hypocritical to be a pro-choice adoptee? How do nature and nurture work together to form a person’s identity? By turns earnest and playful, Ithica: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found is sure to touch readers everywhere who have grappled with who they are.Sarah Saffian is a former reporter for the New York Daily News and has also written for the Village Voice, Interview, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mirabella. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and lives in her native New York City.

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User Review  - alanna1122 - LibraryThing

I find it difficult writing reviews of memoirs - because assuming that the writer of the book achieves a basic satisfactory level of writing skill - and I review the story - well - aren't I reviewing ... Read full review

ITHAKA: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found

User Review  - Kirkus

A vividly realized memoir by an adoptee who was eventually "found" by her birth parents. Journalist and former New York Daily News reporter Saffian shared a comfortable, upper-middle-class life with a ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Saffian is a former reporter for the New York Daily News.

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