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Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Margaux Fragoso
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
Tiger, Tiger is a Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction title for 2011
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fifty-one. When Peter invites her and her mother to his house, the little girl finds a child’s paradise of exotic pets and an elaborate backyard garden. Her mother, beset by mental illness and overwhelmed by caring for Margaux, is grateful for the attention Peter lavishes on her, and he creates an imaginative universe for her, much as Lewis Carroll did for his real-life Alice.

In time, he insidiously takes on the role of Margaux’s playmate, father, and lover. Charming and manipulative, Peter burrows into every aspect of Margaux’s life and transforms her from a child fizzing with imagination and affection into a brainwashed young woman on the verge of suicide. But when she is twenty-two, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of sixty-six.

Told with lyricism, depth, and mesmerizing clarity, Tiger, Tiger vividly illustrates the healing power of memory and disclosure. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a young girl in free fall and conveys to readers—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this gut-wrenching memoir of sexual abuse, Fragoso, who has written short stories for various literary magazines, explores with unflinching honesty the ways in which pedophiles can manipulate their way into the lives of children. Fragoso met Peter Curran at a public pool in Union City, N.J., in 1985 when she was seven and he was 51. He seemed harmless, and invited Fragoso and her mother back to his house. This marked the beginning of Curran and Fragoso's 15-year relationship, which ended when Curran committed suicide at age 66. Fragoso's home life was strained—her mother was in and out of psychiatric wards and her father was an alcoholic—and Curran's home, with its myriad pets and lack of rules, became her refuge. The sexual abuse began slowly, progressing to oral sex in Curran's basement, an act that he requested as a "birthday present." Fragoso's sense of alienation—Curran controlled her world for more than half her life—is palpable in her telling. Using her own diaries and the myriad letters, diaries, and photographs Curran left behind, Fragoso eloquently depicts psychological and sexual abuse in disturbing detail. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Praise for Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger will start a thousand conversations. Margaux Fragoso achieves the unthinkable with empathic clarity: she humanizes a pedophile. In doing so, she makes his crime unimaginably more frightening. Her portrayal of their relationship is shocking, revelatory, and fearless. As the story of a victim, it is gripping; as a work of literature, it’s a triumph.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones

“In this gut-wrenching memoir of sexual abuse, [Margaux Fragoso] explores with unflinching honesty the ways in which pedophiles can manipulate their ways into the lives of children . . . Fragoso’s sense of alienation—Curran controlled her world for more than half her life—is palpable in her telling. Using her own diaries and the myriad letters, diaries, and photographs Curran left behind, Fragoso eloquently depicts psychological and sexual abuse in disturbing detail.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Disqueting . . . Culled from the four diaries she kept during the ordeal, Fragoso writes with searing honesty about her serpentine entanglement and of Curran’s calculated, menacing exploitation of her. Intensive psychotherapy and new motherhood provide a hopeful coda to her unspeakable experience. A gripping, tragic and unforgettable chronicle of lost innocence and abuse.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“You may think you’ve already decided about a child’s ordeal with a sexual predator, but under Margaux Fragoso’s command you will consider the richest depths of experience, terrible, bright, and beautiful. Fragoso writes with unguarded grace and provides a voice—real and haunting—for those children, everywhere among us, who are deprived of theirs.” —Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death

Tiger, Tiger i...

Product Details

  • File Size: 431 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241950155
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00457X81C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most visceral and heartfelt books I have ever read. It is a brave and painful book, difficult to read but beautifully wrought. From the time she was eight years old, Maugaux Fragoso was sexually abused by a man named Peter who is 51 years old when he meets her. The abuse lasts for years and years. Peter grooms Margaux, enchanting her with his home that is filled with animals like hamsters, iguanas, a dog and rabbits. He plays with her as if he was a child. He charms her, acts like a father and pretends to give her unconditional love. However, all this time he is truly a predator, attempting to begin the sexual abuse that is initiated in earnest when Margaux is eight years old.

Margaux becomes completely dependent on Peter and believes that he is the only one in the world that loves her. At times, however, she acts out in ways that indicate she has been abused but the adults in her life do not take notice. She has fugue states, terrible anger issues, spends the nights with Peter. Margaux's mother is seriously mentally ill and encourages her relationship with Peter. Her father is physically and emotionally abusive to Margaux and to her mother. Her father, at one point, suspects that Margaux is being sexually abused, but shows no empathy. In fact, if she were to admit her abuse, he'd put her on the street. When Margaux is in high school, a social worker is called in because people in the neighborhood are suspicious of Margaux's relationship with Peter but she defends him. It is not that different from Stockholm Syndrome.

As a therapist, I understand the trauma that Margaux was experiencing and her need to believe that Peter was her love. "I was Peter's religion" she says.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Forests of the Night June 3, 2011
When Margaux Fragoso's memoir came to my attention, my first impulse was to avoid it. In these times of awful news and crass motives, I was not inclined to give further attention to the subject--pedophilia--or the possibly exploitive author and her publisher. Then I read the first dozen pages and realized Fragoso could write. I noted that her publisher was the fine Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I wondered if my reluctance was narrow, or even fearful. Eventually I knew I would disappoint myself, and possibly miss an opportunity to read a good book, if I didn't give Tiger, Tiger a try. Soon, despite some negative reviews, I was deep in the story.

With a mentally ill mother and a mean-spirited, alcoholic father, lonely seven-year-old Margaux meets fifty-one-year-old Peter at a local swimming pool. He is playing with the sons of his roommate, and they give the appearance of a happy family. Impulsively, she asks to play with them and is immediately welcomed. Soon, Peter invites Margaux and her mother over to his house, where they meet the extraordinary menagerie that he tends, including a small caiman crocodile who falls asleep as Peter rubs its belly. This animal whisperer soon has both mother and daughter charmed as well. Before long they are visiting Peter twice a week. He offers Margaux tremendous freedom at his home, and though she doesn't like what feels like pushiness in him, she revels in the liberty. When her mother complains about and makes fun of her father, Margaux joins in, Peter sympathizes, and the father is set as the outsider, excluded from their fun.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars painful and devastating April 13, 2011
Margaux Fragoso was in an abusive relationship with a sexual predator for 15 years, from age 7 to 22, and now some 10 years later she writes her memoir about what it was like. I had read a number of great reviews about this book, and decided to pick it up recently, even though I knew the topic is painful and it would likely make for devastating reading. I was right on the latter.

In "Tiger, Tiger" (322 pages), the author retells the story of her 15 year relationship with a man called Peter, who befriended her at age 7 while she was in a dysfunctional family, and eventually corraled her into a sexual abusive relationship. You might ask why didn't she stop it as she grew older, but you need to read the author's account to truly understand. What struck me the most about reading this book is how "objective" the author brings the story. She at first seems not to blame Peter for what happened to her. But in the book's Afterword, she comes out and does point out what a sexual predator Peter in fact was, and asks for solutions: "It is true that strict enforcement of current penalties such as prison time for sex offenders is a vital part of the solution. Unfortunately, most pedophiles would be hard-pressed to find treatment options before a conviction as occurred".

It appears that the author has moved on with her life, as apparently she is now married and has a daughter. The very last lines of the book bring a ray of hope: "I make up stories for my daughter just as my father has done for me when I was her age. Some family traditions I keep; others must end with me". Wow. The author took an incredible leap of faith coming out and telling her painful story. I hope that lessons can be learned from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was okay. Sometimes it was hard to follow plus lost interest on some parts.
Published 1 month ago by Janice Bowen
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, eye-opening...
This was a truly disturbing, stomach-churning, yet eye-opening, memoir. It's hard for me to rate a book about something so disgusting as a pedophile, with 4 stars, but Fragoso... Read more
Published 2 months ago by ME
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the life of a sexual realtionship between child and adult
A sad, touching story about a girl's attachment and relationship to a man she spent her most important years with. Read more
Published 3 months ago by e e
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave Story of a Survivor
Honest and up front point of view of a young girl narrator and her extreme experiences.
I have shared this book with friends who are writers, and those who have experienced... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Annie Lanzillotto author of L is for Lion
5.0 out of 5 stars Should you have a desire to be creeped out, ...
Should you have a desire to be creeped out, this is the book. Her clear, unemotional description of sexual molestation are informative, but leave you afraid for her emotional life.
Published 5 months ago by David L. Ashcraft
4.0 out of 5 stars Real, Yet Haunting
Margaux Fragoso takes us back to her childhood, 7 to be exact, and allows us to follow the events that altar her life. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ed
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read but could not put it down!
This book was captivating, and at the same time I wanted to close the book so many times. It was hard to read how a child was manipulated, and taken over by an adult. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Claudia
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but beautifully written
When Margaux is 7 years old, she meets 51 year old Peter one day at the neighborhood swimming pool. They become fast friends, and Margaux’s mentally ill mother is delighted that... Read more
Published 8 months ago by StephTheBookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Riviting
Painful, insightful, beautifully written and haunting, one is torn between a variety of emotions...and reluctantly torn between anger and understanding while simultaneously feeling... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bonnie Metzger
4.0 out of 5 stars Different read
Although twisted she describes her life in detail. Some people would say this is a sick book however it happens more then families are willing to admit! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sherry L. Boutin
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