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Fiction ruined my family

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The youngest of four daughters in an old, celebrated St. Louis family of prominent journalists and politicians on one side, debutante balls and equestrian trophies on the other, Jeanne Darst grew up hearing stories of past grandeur. And as a young girl, the message she internalized was clear: while things might be a bit tight for us right now, it's only temporary. Soon her father would sell the Great American Novel and reclaim the family's former glory.

The family uproots and moves from St. Louis to New York. Jeanne's father writes one novel, and then another, which don't find publishers. This, combined with her mother's burgeoning alcoholism -- nightly booze- fueled weepathons reminiscing about her fancy childhood -- lead to financial disaster and divorce. And as Jeanne becomes an adult, she is horrified to discover that she is not only a drinker like her mother, but a writer like her father.

At first, and for years, she embraces both - living in an apartment with no bathroom, stealing food from her babysitting gigs, and raising rent money by riding the subway topless, or performing her one woman show in her living room. Until gradually, she realizes that this life has not been thrust on her in some handing-down-of-the-writing-mantle-way. She has chosen it; and until she can stop putting drinking and writing ahead of everything else, it's a questionable choice. She writes, "For a long time I was worried about becoming my father. Then I was worried about becoming my mother. Now I was worried about becoming myself."

Ultimately, Jeanne sets out to discover if a person can have the writing without the ruin, if it's possible to be both sober and creative, ambitious and happy, a professional author and a parent.

Filled with brilliantly flawed, idiosyncratic characters and punctuated by Darst's irreverent eye for absurdity, Fiction Ruined My Family is a lovingly told, wickedly funny portrait of an unconventional life.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 4a913db9-fe19-299f-a322-b1241f5e2dda
Grouping Title fiction ruined my family
Grouping Author darst jeanne
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-06-01 22:43:11PM
Last Indexed 2020-06-01 23:56:01PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Darst, Jeanne.
author_display Darst, Jeanne
available_at_catalog Main Kids
Main Library
collection_catalog Biography
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Biography
display_description "A deeply funny and bittersweet memoir of having grown up in an eccentric family of faded wealth and gentility (think shades of Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums) in which the father's failed dreams of being a writer put the family in the poor-house, drove the mother to weepy alcoholism, and provided Jeanne with a highly unusual approach to life--and a wicked sense of humor"--Provided by publisher.
format_catalog Book
format_category_catalog Books
id 4a913db9-fe19-299f-a322-b1241f5e2dda
isbn 9781101547847
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
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last_indexed 2020-06-02T04:56:01.938Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog B D225f
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids
Main Library
primary_isbn 9781594488146
publishDate 2011
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000380639 Book Books English Riverhead Books, 2011. 303 p. ; 22 cm.
overdrive:a5586b02-8f26-4730-8502-7e8bb6012c3b eBook eBook English Penguin Publishing Group 2011
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:CARL0000380639 35192042070999 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
overdrive:a5586b02-8f26-4730-8502-7e8bb6012c3b -1 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false false
subject_facet Darst, Jeanne -- Childhood and youth
Darst, Jeanne -- Homes and haunts
Novelists, American -- 21st century -- Biography
title_display Fiction ruined my family
title_full Fiction Ruined My Family
Fiction ruined my family / Jeanne Darst
title_short Fiction ruined my family
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography
Childhood and youth
Darst, Jeanne
Homes and haunts
Novelists, American