❮PDF / Epub❯ ★ The Kiss: A Memoir ✓ Author Kathryn Harrison – Pdfr25.co


The Kiss: A Memoir In This Extraordinary Memoir, One Of The Best 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 Was Twenty Years Old Exquisitely And Hypnotically Written, Like A Terrifying Dream, The Kiss Will Literally Take Your Breath Away, For The Power And Beauty Of Its Creation, And For The Shocking Truth It Reveals, A Story Both Of Taboo And Of Family Complicity In Breaking Taboo Kathryn Harrison Was Six Months Old When Her Father Left The Family, Yet In His Absence, This Lost Father Haunted Her Youth When Kathryn Is In College, Her Father Comes Back For A Bizarre Family Reunion And An Affair Begins With A Kiss, A Descent Into A Maelstrom, During Which Kathryn Harrison Nearly Loses Her Sanity And Her Life


10 thoughts on “The Kiss: A Memoir

  1. says:

    Update This book was brought to my attention this morning Have others read it This is a book I d re read again today I always wondered why I never saw great novels from this author The way she wrote this book I was hanging onto every word This is an older book I still remember it clearly I still own it It s one of those books that you can t put down yet when you are finished you re not sure what the hell you should tell others Not the type of book I like to rate.., It s very well written extremely engaging I also think it s a test to the reader to see if their own judgments of the content will get in the way of really just hearing the story the author has to tell Thought Provoking to say the least


  2. says:

    Somewhere out there in the South a retired ex minister, a great Don Juan who was told by God personally to fuck his own emotionally needy daughter and God knows who else he was a children s missionary overseas, after all must be basking in the proud afterglow of his memories And then there s the daughter, Kathryn Harrison, the author of this memoir, who was just fucked up enough in the head from family dysfunction to go along with it and yet, being a 20 to 24 year old young woman when the main part of this story took place was herself an adult who could have chosen to briskly walk in the other direction, but didn t As I read this, I wasn t inclined to be sympathetic to either of them, especially as certain needs young Miss Harrison craved were being met by the twisted relationship I m not here to judge her, but neither am I inclined to let her get by on the infantilism defense, which turns her into a powerless victim as so many other reviewers here are simplistically willing to do Things, people, emotions and the world are complicated than that Harrison correctly called it an affair, a term that is nonetheless hard for us to reconcile within the incestuous context The father is a total hypocrite jerkwad hiding behind the mask of religious and domestic respectibility righteous and arrogant enough to think his station puts him above all morality and that everything is meant to sate his selfish needs It all adds up to the stuff of a sensational, jaw dropping, harrowing, nauseating and very unsettling Oprah style bestseller impossible to put down once started The book is a thoughtful, well rendered account of confusing needs and twisted inter family triangles and strange religious moralities gone awry.


  3. says:

    A very disturbing book in its taboo subject matter father daughter incest , The Kiss is an incredibly honest and well written memoir As a therapist reading such a sad, dysfunctional narrative, I couldn t help but feel a sense of deju vu.the narrative of The Kiss paralleling those of similar stories I ve heard within the office walls of client sessions over the years Tragic that this incest happens than society is aware Power, control, and shame are a potent formula for instilling secrecy in the trauma survivor Finding the words to express the unspeakable to anyone is daunting enough, whether telling a trusted family member, friend, or even a therapist Kathryn Harrison goes above and beyond, blowing the reader out of the water with her courage to make a traumatic experience public knowledge.and in the process conveying both a sense of hope and resiliency for incest survivors everywhere.


  4. says:

    NO RATING Hmm where do I begin Believe it or not I AM a cautious reviewer I do not wish to offend, dismiss nor ignore Mrs Harrison or any authors feelings for that matter We are all human beings and words can be universally hurtful stepping down from my soap box With that being said, I am going to try and state my opinions the best way I can without channeling my inner asshole.Here goes While I commend Mrs Harrison s bravery in sharing such a difficult time in her life, her memoir left me confused and struggling to characterize her as a victim Why the uncertainty Great question As it just so happens, I highlighted the passages that puzzled me.Exhibit A In years to come, I won t be able to remember even one instance of our lying together I ll have a composite generic memory I ll know that he was always on top and that I always lay still, as still as if I had, in truth, fallen from a great height I ll remember such details as the color of the carpet in a particular motel room, or the kind of tree outside the window That he always wore his socks and that I wore whatever I could I ll remember every tiny thing about him I will be able to close my eyes and see the pattern of hair that grew on the backs of his hands, the mole on his cheek, the lines, each one of them, at the corners of his eyes This sounds like photographic memory rather than generic Exhibit B But I won t be able to remember what it felt like won t or can t No matter how hard I try, pushing myself to inhabit my past, I ll recoil from what will always seem impossible Asleep There s the cottony somnolence of my days There s the little trick of selective self anesthesia that leaves me awake to certain things and dead to others There are drugs and alcohol, and there is food, too much or too little, with which to bludgeon the senses Over time I make use of each of these, and perhaps others of which I am still not aware Sleep in response to unbearable desire , I have learned this from my mother Now, I m no expert on the human psyche, nor have I suffered from selective self anesthesia but I ve been in denial once, twice okay, a few times and her admission mirrors my thoughts when I refuse to believe the truth Exhibit C I m frightened I want to avoid contemplating the enormity of what we re doing an act that defines me, that explains who I am, because in it is all the hurt and anger and hunger of my past, and in it, too, is the future It s anger that frightens me most I sleep to escape my rage So those feelings she can remember in vivid detail, but the feelings that accompany penetration have vanished completely And the peace de resistance sleep to escape my rag Not at him, but at my mother To avoid owning a fury so destructive that I would take from her what brief love she has known, because she has been so unwilling for so long to love me just a little The other object of my anger is myself AT HER MOTHER I don t give a flying fuck if her mother was an abusive crack whore which she wasn t The affair between Kathryn and Daddy Dearest started when she was 20 years old, her mother did not instigate their affair, in fact her mother suspects something is going on between her daughter and ex husband so she takes Kathryn to speak with a psychiatrist Oops, one She gets to the point without preamble I think they re having sex, she says The doctor turns to me, his eyebrows raised, and I lie as I have never lied before or since I m a bad liar, generally, but on this afternoon, wearing what I m wearing, I am brilliant It just looks bad, I tell him I know why she s worried.But it s just that I falter See, I never knew my father.I m going through a stage, like all little girls, just later than most I pause at exactly the right moments My performance is so good that I m frightened Is my personality so unformed that putting on a dress is enough to change it Or is this shameless, sexual, purple clad girl someone I can t imagine as a friend a part of me She s right, I say, nodding I am in love with him, but it I m not I d never I wouldn t do that The doctor looks at me sitting before him in my vulgar dress, and he believes me I know it Does this sound like a 20 something victim to you I found the memoir as a whole to be rather distorted I m still uncertain if Kathryn lost her virginity when she was 17, to a dildo or to her father Mrs Harrison s recollection of events are in no particular order and we are arely given dates so I had no idea how old Kathryn was when incidents took place I do have a few opinions but I feel like I m teetering the line towards assholism so I m going to stop while I m still considered a respectful reviewer I hope Special thanks to Carla, Ashlee and Lucy for listening to me talk shit vent via phone, text and personal message Hey, I never said I was an angel MWAH


  5. says:

    Kathryn Harrison was a pretty big deal in the 1990s At the time, she d written three literary novels Of these three, one was about a sexual relationship between a father and his grown biological daughter Another was about a woman whose father, a famous photographer, had taken inappropriate photos of his daughter as a child and then put them on display for everyone to see With her fourth book, The Kiss, Kathryn Harrison finally wrote what she d apparently been trying to write all along a memoir about her own sexual relationship with her till then estranged biological father, which occurred when she was 20 and he was around 40.I had read Harrison s second novel, Exposure, in the early 1990s and didn t think much of it at the time, although in retrospect I may just not have been sophisticated enough to appreciate it I bought The Kiss because of all the understandable attention it got when it was published, but I left it on the shelf for years because honestly, who wants to read about such things I don t know what drew me to this now, but frankly I started this book expecting to feel nothing but my own sense of superiority No matter how bad my life gets, at least I will never do something this bad, this crazy. And of course, that s still true But this brief book, with its beautiful, appropriately overwrought prose, made me understand why Kathryn Harrison s life took this turn If you ve always felt out of place in your own family, and then someone suddenly turns up who finally makes you feel like you belong somewhere, what might you be willing to do to hold on to that feeling Most of us wouldn t give the same answer as the 20 year old Harrison, but we can at least understand the question With The Kiss, I felt that I was living this period in Harrison s life along with her, and I couldn t help but admire her bravery at admitting to this, one of the most difficult things a person could ever admit to in their lifetime.A few reviewers here on Goodreads seem to be invested in pointing out that Harrison consented to her relationship with her father and therefore is not really a victim I find this line of thinking beside the point It s true, she didn t have to do what she did, but that doesn t mean she can t regret it It doesn t mean she can t look back on one of the most confused, desperate times in her life and try to figure out what happened and why Harrison s own complicity is part of what gives the book its power.In the end, though, this is as much a book about Harrison s relationship with her mother as it is about her relationship with her father, and the scenes with her mother provide some of the most moving and indelible passages Her father remains something of a shadow figure, and that s only appropriate given the darkness he left in his wake.


  6. says:

    Yawn Admittedly, she didn t have the best childhood, but on the other hand she grew up in a stable household with her grandparents, enough money, education, etc And I don t buy that her father manipulated her into a relationship She was 20 years old, she could make her own choices at that point, especially when it involved voluntarily travelling long distances to meet him Not that I was looking for details yuck , but I also don t buy that she doesn t remember any of the times that she had sex with him.I didn t find this memoir disturbing or harrowing in the least, just pointless.


  7. says:

    This is a bold, fearless, extremely well written book but, given the material I cannot say I really liked the book On writing merit alone, Harrison has five stars from me Her writing structure, choice of words, really, the lack of words, causes this to be the most in your face honest confession I truly admire her for writing publishing her story I don t say that lightly, like others do for almost any memoir because with her children husband, this was quite a brave move The father, of course, is a pastor He is clearly, f cked for doing this Further, he has sex with her for the first time in his mothers, Harrison s grandmothers home He then proceeds to have sex with her in the church Of course What is it with these religious should I say religious men It is, again, very well written Harrison doesn t hide from the truth She doesn t use the victim card like most would in her position, though she would not be completely wrong if she had She doesn t take a wholly innocent position in regard to her love affair sexual escapades with her father What makes this worse is that she knew exactly what she was doing, although obviously clouded by various familial relationships,etc she was twenty years old when this love affair began Essentially, she is saying that it was some complicated way she used, unknown to herself at the time, to exact revenge on her mother, the person she loves the most in the world, but failed to give her the love she deserved as a girl The fact that she sits in the same room as her mother father, all three of them knowing although not voicing the fact that both women are having sexual relations with Harrisons father is truly appalling Harrison, in the interview at the end of the book, says this She says she is still shocked by her past appalled Thus, I cannot say I actually liked reading the book because I didn t It was actually a little hard for me to read it straight through, as I found myself so offended by the story but, as this is the truth, I whole heartedly support Harrison telling her story We know that this occurs in this world. the fact that someone so successful, beautiful, who has a family now is willing to share her exceptionally well written account without using the Poor me Victim card is pretty much all I need to say I admire her for doing this.


  8. says:

    Kinda creepy to craft your own shame into MFA style writing.Like, the kiss is the first tongue kiss her dad gives her, which becomes a neat poetic catalyst and central event brought throughout the narrative Rather than a thing that makes you go EWWWWWWWWW EWWWWWW EWWWW, right I found an example quote In years to come, I ll think of the kiss as a kind of transforming sting, like that of a scorpion a narcotic that spreads from my mouth to my brain The kiss is the point at which I begin, slowly, inexorably, to fall asleep, to surrender volition, to become paralyzed It s the drug my father administers in order that he might consume me That I might desire to be consumed It s just not the time or place for well crafted, aloof sentences of pontification Even creepier that it s some chosen turning point or denouement Like, what did that shortlist look like Similarly she rambled a bit about touching baby kittens before they were ready to be touched and they get their eyes infected and she s milked this one moment because, no lady s memoir is complete without a bit of random symbolic animal torture Isn t there a bit in Cheryl Strayed s memoir about shooting a horse I skipped it because I could feel how much it was trying to make me cry Is that what they teach them at the Iowa Writer s Workshop Hey Kath loved this first draft but did you ever hurt a small animal in your youth You could really make this chapter pop So as I say the creepiest thing about this book is how it s been constructed.


  9. says:

    This book was difficult to read The subject of incest is torturous, but Harrison s writing was beautiful, exquisitely distinctive Some critics said she was a fully grown adult when the affair began She was twenty and had an eating disorder that diminished her breasts and stopped her period She had not seen her father since she was ten, and even then it was brief She was a child Having had no father daughter relationship with him, she had to be even childlike in his presence Though she was not technically a child, she was his child.Her father asserted that their relationship was different, unlike that of any other father and daughter It was indeed different, because he was monstrous My heart broke again and again for Kathryn Harrison as I read this book Part of me worries that to this day she might not realize how innocent she was Despite the tragedy of her story, with it Harrison gave us a beautiful gift It has been an especially timely gift for me as I read it Her real transformation came at the death of her grandfather She writes, The service takes place just after Hanukkah, and the rabbi reminds us of lighting candles He asks that we cherish the memory of my grandfather, who died during the feast of lights, that for him, we go forth as brightly as possible and make our lives those of illumination, not of darkness I am currently in mourning for my mother and father As I move forward I will remember her words and make my own life a life of illumination, not of darkness Thank you Kathryn.


  10. says:

    This book is disturbing Well, the subject matter is disturbing an affair she has with her father I feel great respect for the bravery that went into writing it Something bugs me which is that after all of that, she didn t go into the healing part of the trauma Well, maybe that was the point It was all so starkly written, which definitely gave you the impression of being there You get it The feeling of being stuck, of her body and mind freezing over it s very visceral I just also wanted to be takento the next stage At the end she woke up and felt released, separated from her father, and now is married and has a life, but she also says that she and her husband keep that whole relationship in a box on a high shelf out of reach That doesn t sound like it s really been healed I want to know how someone heals from something like that, not just is released as she puts it And I want to go on that journey with her through the book But it ends and it almost seems wistful, unfinished to me.


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