Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Life Rescued by Tragedy

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9780061826696: Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Life Rescued by Tragedy

“Chilling. . . . There is a gritty honesty to her cautionary confession that will alert others to listen for and respond to wake-up calls of their own.” — New York Times Book Review

“Shapiro does not sugarcoat her life; she writes with an eviscerating, raw honesty about the wrong turns and mistakes she made.” — Boston Globe

Slow Motion is the critically-lauded bestselling memoir from acclaimed novelist Dani Shapiro (Black & White, Family History). Slow Motion is a “riveting” and “breathtaking” look (San Francisco Chronicle), free of self-pity or regret, at a life that was rescued by an unspeakable tragedy.

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Review:

Dani Shapiro was rescued by tragedy. At the age of 23 she is a wreck. A Sarah Lawrence college dropout, she is living as the mistress--one of many, she would later find out--of her best friend's stepfather, Lenny, a high-profile New York City lawyer. It is the height of the excessive '80s, and Lenny goes to extravagant lengths to keep his woman--putting her up in a large downtown apartment, draping her in furs and flashy gems, and spiriting her away by Concorde to Paris for weekend flings. When she isn't with Lenny, Shapiro leisurely courts an acting and modeling career and actively pursues her drug dealer, who delivers cocaine to her door. She is at an expensive spa in California--at a far remove from the middle-class, orthodox Jewish home in which she was raised--when, one snowy night, her parents' car careens into a highway median. When she returns to New Jersey, to her parents' hospital bedsides, she begins the journey to discover and mine her inner strength. She succeeds, and though the process is as arduous as it is painful, Shapiro finds within herself the power to nurse her mother through nearly 100 broken bones, to survive her father's death, and to reset the course of her life. Slow Motion ends where its subject's troubles began: with Shapiro, newly single, re-enrolling as an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence.

Shapiro, who is the author of three previous novels, writes sparely and lacks the excessive self-consciousness that plagues some memoirs. She develops her story carefully, drawing readers ever closer into her most intimate thoughts and fears. This honest, and sometimes brutal account of loss and recovery is an inspiration.

From the Back Cover:

At twenty-three, Dani Shapiro was in the midst of a major rebellion against her religious upbringing. She had dropped out of college, was halfheartedly acting in television commercials, and was carrying on with an older married man when her life was changed, in an instant, by a phone call. Her parents had been in a devastating car accident. Neither was expected to survive. In her first memoir, Shapiro offers this powerful true story of a life turned around—not by miracles or happy endings, but by unexpected personal catastrophe.

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