Ariel Leve An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780062269454

An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir

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9780062269454: An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir

"Mesmerizing... A portrait of something familiar gone wildly, tragically awry."

The New York Times

“Sometimes, a child is born to a parent who can’t be a parent, and, like a seedling in the shade, has to grow toward a distant sun. Ariel Leve’s spare and powerful memoir will remind us that family isn’t everything—kindness and nurturing are.” 

—Gloria Steinem

Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love?

Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child’s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father’s home in South East Asia-an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve—relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields a clarity of what was missing.

In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child’s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life.

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From the Back Cover:

In this extraordinary memoir, Ariel Leve takes us through the looking glass intothe life of an only child growing up under siege. The unconventional world Ariel inhabited was dominated by her mother, a gifted but unstable poet without boundaries or self-restraint. Mother and daughter lived in a penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, which was the setting for raucous parties that attracted New York’s cultural and intellectual elite: Gloria Steinem, Norman Mailer, and Andy Warhol, to name a few. For all its glamour, this was a universe that was neither predictable nor safe.

With her beloved father living in Southeast Asia and the death of a nurturing caretaker, young Ariel was left to navigate an emotionally perilous landscape alone. It took four decades before she was able to make sense of the aftershocks of childhood, which eventually necessitated a voyage in secret to the other side of the world. Unflinchingly, and with ferocious candor, Leve trains her writer’s eye on the harrowing circumstances of her life with (and without) her mother, and transforms the chaos into art.

In stripped down, elegant prose, Leve paints an indelible portrait of her upbringing and the long fight to tunnel her way out of the darkness. The drama of her journey proves to be as exhilarating as it is painful and, ultimately, emancipating. An Abbreviated Life heralds the arrival of a fearless new voice in the literary firmament.

About the Author:

Ariel Leve is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Guardian, Financial Times Magazine, the Telegraph, the Observer, and the London Sunday Times Magazine, where she was a senior writer and a columnist. At the British Press Awards she was short-listed twice for Interviewer of the Year and Highly Commended twice. Her books include It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mesmerizing.A portrait of something familiar gone wildly, tragically awry. -The New York Times Sometimes, a child is born to a parent who can t be a parent, and, like a seedling in the shade, has to grow toward a distant sun. Ariel Leve s spare and powerful memoir will remind us that family isn t everything-kindness and nurturing are. -Gloria Steinem Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker. Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love? Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father s home in South East Asia-an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve-relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields a clarity of what was missing. In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062269454

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mesmerizing. A portrait of something familiar gone wildly, tragically awry. -The New York Times Sometimes, a child is born to a parent who can t be a parent, and, like a seedling in the shade, has to grow toward a distant sun. Ariel Leve s spare and powerful memoir will remind us that family isn t everything-kindness and nurturing are. -Gloria SteinemAriel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker. Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love?Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father s home in South East Asia-an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve-relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields a clarity of what was missing.In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062269454

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. A beautiful, startling, and candid memoir about growing up without boundaries, in which Ariel Leve recalls with candor and sensitivity the turbulent time she endured as the only child of an unstable poet for a mother and a beloved but largely absent father, and explores the consequences of a psychologically harrowing childhood as she seeks refuge from the past and recovers what was lost.Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as "a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker." Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsy-turvy world of conditional love?Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child’s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father’s home in South East Asia—an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve—relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields clarity of what was missing.In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child’s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life. Bookseller Inventory # 116041666

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