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Description - 8 by Amy Fusselman

In this gorgeously elliptical memoir, the acclaimed author of "The Pharmacist's Mate" examines motherhood, childhood and the unexpected effects of past events and present actions. The mania of early motherhood, the intimacy of marriage and the quest for healing are raw materials from which critically acclaimed writer Amy Fusselman has wrought her latest work - a daring exploration of the perversities of time. The same idiosyncratic and inimitable form Fusselman created in the astonishingly original "The Pharmacist's Mate" - short, staccato paragraphs, some reading like journal entries - lends intimacy to her reflections and observations. From her experiences with the man she calls 'my paedophile' to the more domestic trials of sleep training her infant son or her obsession with a Beastie Boys song, Fusselman moves from one subject to the next with the freeform exuberance of a child at play. Sometimes the topic is abstract and grand, such as her contemplation of what Time is; other times, she focuses on the seemingly trivial and mundane aspects of life. The idea of learning through repetition and the automatic motions of humans are metaphorically represented by the countless figure eights she performed as a child on the ice. Family is ever present in 8, and Fusselman writes with inclusive tenderness, extending this intimacy to the reader as well. Her efforts to come to terms with the ideas of innocence, aging and the healing power of touch draw the reader in still deeper - the uplifting revelations staying with you long after the last page is turned.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781582433684
ISBN-10: 1582433682
Format: Hardback
(220mm x 150mm x 17mm)
Pages: 130
Imprint: Counterpoint
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publish Date: 3-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - 8 by Amy Fusselman

US Kirkus Review » Musings on the nature of time, the relationship between victim and victimizer, parenting, alternative healing therapies and any other aspect of her life that strikes the author's fancy. Fusselman (The Pharmacist's Mate, 2001) writes in short paragraphs, some only a sentence long, and groups them together into semi-chapters, each headed by the figure eight. The number's significance is not made clear, but it may represent repetition; the author writes of her experience as a figure skater in the 1970s, when she repeatedly practiced executing an eight on ice. Viewed from another angle, the figure could symbolize infinity. Fusselman, who speaks directly to the reader, is not inhibited by rules about writing; her mini-essays flow in whatever direction her mind chooses. When her editor finds one childhood incident unbelievable, she includes the editorial discussion that ensues, bringing the reader into the writing process. Her reflections, which could be entries in a personal journal, include references to her encounters with a pedophile when she was four, her reactions to sessions with a hands-on healer and her child's sessions with a craniosacral therapist, her efforts to sleep-train her two-year-old son and her motorcycle-riding lessons. She also offers her thoughts on such abstractions as joy, reality, space and time. Her fixation with a song by the Beastie Boys, the lyrics to which she paraphrases at considerable length, may puzzle readers who are not into the group, but her interpretation of it as a complex piece of artistry is fascinating.Having no apparent direction, beginning or end, Fusselman's freewheeling memoir is alternately serious and trivial, entertaining and exasperating. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Amy Fusselman

Amy Fusselman's writing has appeared in McSweeney's, Jane and Art News. She lives with her husband and two sons in New York City.

Books By Amy Fusselman

Savage Park by Amy Fusselman
Paperback / softback, January 2016
Pharmacist's Mate/8 by Amy Fusselman
Paperback / softback, February 2013