Listen: A Memoir

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Dec 7, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Listen is a memoir of voices, the voices of parents that linger in the ears of children until the day when those children are able to sound their own note. A domineering father and a professor of languages and literature in the 1950s and '60s, Victor has four women trapped in his orbit-his long-suffering wife and his three well-behaved daughters. "Teacher, poet, translator" is how he wants his gravestone to read, and in life he is dedicated to passing on to his family the great cultural achievements of western civilization-poetry, philosophy, religion, music, art. But he leaves darker gifts as well, in particular to his daughter Wendy the most traumatic legacy of all: incest.
A major achievement and a stunning debut, Listen is about how families shape their memories and how even things that are never spoken about have potent echoes. It's also a memoir that chronicles a poet's apprenticeship to words, the story of a daughter who listened and who, with the gift for poetry her father gave her, learned to translate the darkest secrets of their past.
 

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
7
Section 3
11
Section 4
12
Section 5
22
Section 6
29
Section 7
38
Section 8
42
Section 21
108
Section 22
109
Section 23
114
Section 24
121
Section 25
124
Section 26
138
Section 27
140
Section 28
143

Section 9
43
Section 10
46
Section 11
52
Section 12
67
Section 13
70
Section 14
71
Section 15
77
Section 16
80
Section 17
94
Section 18
95
Section 19
99
Section 20
101
Section 29
149
Section 30
156
Section 31
159
Section 32
161
Section 33
171
Section 34
173
Section 35
205
Section 36
242
Section 37
245
Section 38
247
Section 39
248
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About the author (2008)

Wendy Salinger is the author of Folly River, winner of The National Poetry Series, and a graduate of Duke and the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony. She directs the Schools Project at the 92nd St. Y's Unterberg Poetry Center in New York.

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