The Kiss: A Memoir

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, May 4, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Exquisitely and hypnotically written, like a bold and terrifying dream, The Kiss is breathtaking in its honesty and in the power and beauty of its creation.

In this extraordinary memoir, one of the best young writers in America today transforms into a work of art the darkest passage imaginable in a young woman's life: an obsessive love affair between father and daughter that began when Kathryn Harrison, twenty years old, was reunited with a parent whose absence had haunted her youth. A story both of taboo and of family complicity in breaking taboo, The Kiss is also about love—about the most primal of love triangles, the one that ensnares a child between mother and father.

Praise for The Kiss

“I couldn’t stop reading this. I’ll never stop remembering it.”—Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club

“Only a writer of extraordinary gifts could bring so much light to bear on so dark a matter, redeeming it with the steadiness of her gaze and the uncanny, heartbreaking exactitude of her language.”—Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life

“Beautifully written . . . jumping back and forth in time yet drawing you irresistibly toward the heart of a great evil.”The New York Times

“Like all good literature, The Kiss illuminates something that we knew already, while also teaching us things we had not even suspected.”Los Angeles Times
 
“A darkly beautiful book, fearless and frightening, ironic and compassionate.”—Mary Gordon, author of Circling My Mother
 

“Harrison’s story is her own, but it is also a brilliant fiction, densely mythic, sometimes almost liturgical sounding and raw. She is both author and protagonist of a dark pilgrim’s progress.”The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AddictedToMorphemes - LibraryThing

The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison Memoir Incredibly brave and poignant recounting of the author's dysfunctional relationship with her entire family. The focal point of her life had always been her mother ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - engpunk77 - LibraryThing

A good read about a subject rarely discussed. The author courageously reveals her incestual relationship with her father (as an adult). An eye-opener! She invites you to explore the complexities of ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
5
Section 3
16
Section 4
32
Section 5
44
Section 6
56
Section 7
70
Section 8
85
Section 12
140
Section 13
154
Section 14
162
Section 15
176
Section 16
193
Section 17
205
Section 18
211
Section 19
219

Section 9
101
Section 10
115
Section 11
129
Section 20
235
Section 21
239
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Kathryn Harrison's novels include Thicker than Water and Exposure, both New York Times Notable Books, and Poison, called "powerful and hypnotic" by The New York Times and "a masterpiece" by Lucy Grealy.  Harrison lives in New York.

Bibliographic information