Like Being Killed
By (author) Ellen Miller
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Like Being Killed by Ellen Miller
Book DescriptionProfoundly hypnotic and deeply disturbing: 'I could never predict what was going to ruin me and what was going to rescue me.' says Ilyana Meyerovitch, a self-confessed suicidal, strung-out Jew. Into her life, and her flat, walks her opposite - Susie Lyons - blonde, artistic, optimistic and above all, innocent. LIKE BEING KILLED is about the devastating effects the two women have on each other as they start to share more than a flat. Simultaneously drawn to Susie's wholesome values and repelled, Ilyana's desire for what Susie has will take her into the grip of a downward spiral whose only outcome is oblivion. LIKE BEING KILLED is the 90s brat-pack gone wrong. A novel of drugs, dependency and the myth of sisterhood, it takes the trust implicit in flat-sharing to its ultimate conclusion...
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781860496905
(198mm x 126mm x mm)
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 1-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Ellen Miller
One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends, Paperback / softback» View all books by Ellen Miller
This quirky, friendly, and gut-honest devotional comes straight from the heart. Miller's quick, daily doses of encouragement will make readers laugh, give them something to look forward to each day, and remind them that they're never alone.
US Kirkus Review » First-novelist Miller pulls a minimum of punches in her grueling depiction of a young woman's heroin-assisted downward spiral. Since her youth in Bensonhurst, Ilyana, the only child of crude, abusive parents, "sensed heroin as an inevitable destination." Now a bookish Brown graduate, she lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the same neighborhood her grandparents had worked hard to escape. Ilyana does her best to resist friendships: such attachments seem inevitably to lead to loss. When her beloved roommate commits suicide, Ilyana replaces her with Susie, a big-boned mosaic maker who deflects Ilyana's reflexive cruelty and wears down her wariness with generosity and bad jokes. Effortlessly domestic, Susie even gets the nihilistic Ilyana to bake a peach pie. Initially, Ilyana is confused by Paul, Susie's nice-guy boyfriend, but then she gets at what's behind his lack of focus: that he's using heroin. He manipulates her into keeping it secret from Susie: and when Susie discovers her deception, she immediately moves out. Bereft, and ruminating on her lost friendship, Ilyana intensifies her own use and takes up with a slick pack of clever addicts - the sort who play parlor games predicting how each will die - but even that insubstantial circle evaporates when a gang member overdoses. Ilyana meticulously chronicles the degrading minutiae of the months that follow: her razor-sharp memory and ready grab-bag of scientific and literary references don't dissipate, but, rather, enrich her meditations on paralysis, consciously chosen loneliness, masochistic relationships (including a fling with Susie's Paul), and the decay of her bodily functions. It's only when Paul dies of AIDS, and Ilyana's suicidal wishes run rampant, that she opens herself to a redemption of sorts. Though the hopeful transformations feel a bit forced, Ilyana's voice is authentic in unsparingly illuminating the link between self-protection and self-destruction, revealing a tender inner life that persists despite addiction, depression, and descent into squalor. A bleak, bracing debut. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ellen Miller
Ellen Miller has a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University and was the recipient of the New York University Creative Writing Fellowship for Fiction. She lives in New York.
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