Vertigo: A Memoir

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Dutton, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 263 pages
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"In 1958, sixteen-year-old Louise DeSalvo saw Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo eleven times in one week, transfixed by the lead character's fainting spells (which she too suffered) and by the image of woman-as-imposter falling to her death. The film seemed to embody all the confusing and contradictory messages she was receiving as a young woman." "Born to Italian immigrants and coming of age during the 1950s, DeSalvo found herself rebelling against a script written by parental and social expectations. In her memoir, Vertigo, she vividly recounts her attempts to transcend the limits of her working-class girlhood and forge an identity based on her own desires. Her adolescent efforts to separate herself from her family and find personal freedom centered on sex and alcohol, but proved futile. Though she attended college, she married young and quickly found herself raising a family. Here she writes with raw honesty about the rocky early years of her marriage, her difficulties in being a mother, and the crises that precipitated her voyage of self-discovery." "It was through the power of literature that DeSalvo acquired the tools to define her own life. Discovering that the Latin root of vertigo and verse was the same, she realized she could link her own sense of confusion to her ability to write: "To turn a phrase in the midst of my instability. By versifying, to transmute my instability, my vertigo, into something worthwhile."" "Vertigo is a brilliant and challenging example of a woman writing her life in a manner that defies conventional wisdom and refuses to suppress the truth of female experience."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Vertigo: a memoir

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Growing up Italian American in the 1950s and observing the women around her, DeSalvo became keenly aware of the severely limited opportunities available to women generally. Determined not to live a ... Read full review


Fixing Things
My Sisters Suicide
Combat Zones

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About the author (1996)

DeSalvo, a frequent lecturer and guest on NPR and television, DeSalvo teaches literature and memoir writing full-time at Hunter College in New York City.

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