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Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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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.)
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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 is stunning, in all the possible manifestations of that word.” —Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
“Once in a generation, an essential book—a necessary book—comes along and challenges our bedrock assumptions about life. Margaux Fragoso’s Tiger, Tiger is that book. Family life, the corruption of innocence, sexual abuse, pedophilia—all are unflinchingly yet exquisitely rendered as Fragoso experienced them. You will never view childhood the same way after reading Fragoso’s monumentally important book.” —Louise DeSalvo, author of Writing as a Way of Healing
Top customer reviews
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It is told from two viewpoints... once of them being from a child's viewpoint... and the other from the adult that realizes what happened to her as a kid.
Heartbreaking, most of the time. But it's also an important read. The level of manipulation that the predator used to seduce children is just uncanny! The social worker is the hero of the story... but she is also powerless since the victims do not believe they are being used. The social worker is also powerless because the family is turning a blind eye to all of the abuse. It's willful blindness.
I know this might sound wrong... but I think it's more important that a child who is being abused read this book... it might help open their eyes and result in the child talking to the social worker. A lot of the contents of this book made me sick to my stomach.
The predator always has an excuse for everything that he does. A believable excuse. A child could be easily fooled. But this book shows where the more elaborate traps are! The traps are 1. the Predators knowledge of child psychology, 2. the family who is engaged in willful blindness. 3. a child's lack of understanding about what is actually happening to them.
There were a few heroes other than the social worker. There was the lifeguard who reported what he had witnessed. But the abuse was allowed to continue on for years.