- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Chiasmus Press (January 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0970321295
- ISBN-13: 978-0970321299
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,251,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Sister's Continent Paperback – January 1, 2006
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Soon to be married, Kirby dreads the return to Chicago of her twin, Kendra, a ballerina. So severe is Kirby's stress-induced intestinal malady, her father sends her to his shrink. Kendra is even more of a wreck: a back injury has ended her dancing life, leaving this anorexic, pill-popping sexual outlaw perilously at loose ends. But their father trumps all: he has AIDS. Under all this duress, Kirby begins to question her engagement and her sexuality, and Kendra, a devotee of pain, takes up with a colleague of her father's who is proficient in sadomasochism. The adventurous editor of the literary magazine Other Voices, Frangello has parlayed Freud's vision of female sexuality as a "dark continent" into a boldly explicit debut novel in which high-strung characters struggle to decode the mysteries of the self while their bodies express what their minds repress. Fran-gello is uncanny and mesmerizing in this smart, suspenseful psychosexual drama as she choreographs traumatic, possibly criminal, family dynamics, and delves fearlessly into questions of identity, abuse, power, trust, trespass, and delusion. Donna Seaman
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A Freudian tale of a family's twisted past . . . weaving complex issues of sexuality, AIDS and eating disorders. -- Chicago Magazine, December 2005, Jennifer Tanaka
A refreshing rebuttal to the canard that feminism is humorless, and the deep pun in the title is priceless. -- Chicago Tribune, December 2005, Bill Savage
Frangello is uncanny and mesmerizing in this smart, suspenseful psychosexual drama as she choreographs traumatic and even criminal family dynamics. -- Booklist, January 2006, Donna Seaman
Top customer reviews
There are other excellent characterizations, the well meaning and alcoholic father, the stern and icey cold mother, the therapist and three very different boyfriends who are trying to understand and help the girls through their dysfunctional lives, yearning for love and sex.
The writing is mature, full of metaphors which help us follow the girls' journies through madness and to a lesser extent, redemption. This book is no frilly, happy little romance novel. It is just the opposite, an almost brutal look into real life and understanding of the psychology of dysfunctional, yet normal, human relationships. The genius of the author is her ability to delve into these abnormal yet very interesting sexual and emotional needs of people through the Freudian approach. I loved the book and feel enhanced.
I hope there is a follow-up book.
Frangello's writing is extraordinarily strong and vivid; she perfectly captures the Chicago backdrop and the intricacy of familial relationships in a way that feels as real as solid wood. Her characterisation is considered and completely truthful - she has constructed a world where you find yourself nodding in recognition at the ways in which people relate to each other, in kindness and in cruelty.
It's perhaps not a book for the faint-hearted; a lot of the material Frangello works with here is gritty in its sexuality and humanity, but the book is ultimately hugely rewarding, and calls up many questions about relating to sex, relating to others, relating to truth and relating to self.
You won't be able to sleep when you're done.
At it's heart: it's a riveting story. Behind the curtain of this story, there is a towering intelligence pulling the cranks, blowing whistles, and letting out the steam of everything from Freud, to grunge bars to feminist theory to the souless chasm of the suburbs. But the intelligence never gets in the way of the story.
Twin sisters navigating the Clinton years and family wars perhaps as old as time. Set with complete and total realism in Chicago and the Northern Suburbs of the city. Language that holds nothing back.
This book will probobly never make it on to Oprah. (If it did, prepare for a seismic shift in the elevation of true literature in our society) It does not have the pat, feel good cliches of an author telling us how to think and feel warm and cozy. Nothing here that feels like fresh baked cookies. This book is somebody else's expensive scotch guzzled too fast at 2:00 am with a momentary ally in the creepy dark sleet of winter night.
This is an author holding up a mirror to these riveting characters and letting the reader SEE the reflections. The effect is that, just like great music, a lot of the power is what is NOT said, the pauses, the missing pieces as we catch a reflection---not totally sure what we saw--but compelled by the power of the story to keep reading. Keep reading.
You won't forget this story.