The Part That Burns

The Part That Burns

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Author/Contributor(s): Ouellette, Jeannine
Publisher: Split/Lip Press
Date: 01/04/2021
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

A Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of 2021

A Rumpus Book to Read in 2021

Next Generation Indie Book Award 2021 Finalist in Women's Literature

"Ouellette's evocative memoir eloquently depicts a difficult but hopeful path to solace from a painful past." -Publishers Weekly ( starred review)

"A textured remembrance of a traumatic childhood that also offers affecting moments of beauty." -Kirkus Reviews ( starred review)

"I love this book and am grateful it is in the world." -Dorothy Allison, New York Times best-selling author of Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller

"Simply beautiful. Precisely imagined, poetically structured, compelling, and vivid." -Joyce Carol Oates

"At turns tender and devastating, these essays are finely carved vignettes that, laid together, form a powerful portrait of one woman's path from hard girlhood to motherhood, the grace and mettle it takes not only to survive but to flourish." -Melissa Febos, Girlhood and Abandon Me

"Jeannine Ouellette's memoir glows with incandescent storytelling centered around memories, motherhood, and resilience. The Part That Burns proves that life isn't lived in a linear way. Girlhood and womanhood can exist simultaneously, our former selves meeting our present selves. Ouellette's writing is ablaze with a burnished beauty." - Michele Filgate, What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

"Ouellette's debut memoir, The Part That Burns, is calm, engaging and affecting without being devastating... [L]ike the cult classic The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, which has a similar subject, the memoir is beautifully written and interestingly constructed. Tell all the truth but tell it slant, said Emily Dickinson-another way of describing what Ouellette accomplishes here. All the truth, and many slants, like the angles of sun through the hours of a day." -Marion Winik, National Book Critics Circle

In her fiercely beautiful memoir, Jeannine Ouellette recollects fragments of her life and arranges them elliptically to witness each piece as torn and whole, as something more than itself. Caught between the dramatic landscapes of Lake Superior and Casper Mountain, between her stepfather's groping and her mother's erratic behavior, Ouellette lives for the day she can become a mother herself and create her own sheltering family. But she cannot know how the visceral reality of both birth and babies will pull her back into the body she long ago abandoned, revealing new layers of pain and desire, and forcing her to choose between her idealistic vision of perfect marriage and motherhood, and the birthright of her own awakening flesh, unruly and alive. The Part That Burns is a story about the tenacity of family roots, the formidable undertow of trauma, and the rebellious and persistent yearning of human beings for love from each other.