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For a Dancer: The Memoir de Emma J. Stephens
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For a Dancer: The Memoir (edició 2011)

de Emma J. Stephens

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3925647,043 (3.06)5
Brought up in an environment riddled with substance abuse and neglect, Emma has big dreams and little chance of ever reaching them. By the age of fourteen she is on her own, determined to escape the mentality that has crippled her family, but to succeed would mean leaving behind her sister and betraying the only life she s ever known. From the Virginia countryside to the streets of Paris, through teenage motherhood and higher education, share Emma s tears and triumphs as she searches for acceptance in an exclusive world and finds love in the most unlikely of places."… (més)
Membre:scarvell
Títol:For a Dancer: The Memoir
Autors:Emma J. Stephens
Informació:Saint Columba Press (2011), Hardcover, 226 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

For A Dancer: The Memoir de Emma J Stephens

  1. 01
    Some Girls: My Life in a Harem de Jillian Lauren (elizabeth.a.coates)
    elizabeth.a.coates: Both are true stories, both writers experience many barriers, same frank tone.
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» Mira també 5 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 25 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I read this book some time ago, and I am sorry that I haven't gotten around to writing a review. Though I typically enjoy memoirs, I found this one confusing and poorly organized. Which is unfortunate, because I think it distracts from the interesting, though tragic, story. For someone who is interested in topic of growing up in an alcoholic family, it may be worth diving into this book, but it isn't one that I will pass on to friends or family. ( )
  oldschoolgirl | Feb 22, 2019 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Although I was intrigued at the start of reading this book, I did not enjoy the read. Too much unbelievable and disappointment ( )
1 vota dmcoco | Jun 20, 2016 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This was an Early Reviewers book that I've read twice in order to write this review, to try to clarify my feelings. I didn't necessarily find it easy or gripping to read, but it did make me think, and I was overall glad I'd read it. Emma and her sister Sadie are born into a family who struggle with alcoholism. Feeling abandoned by their mother, and forced to be more adult than she should be because of her father's immaturity, Emma gets caught up in and inadvertently perpetuates a cycle of hurt that has far-reaching consequences. This memoir is presented in vignette format, and this both worked and didn't work for me. In some ways it heightened my perception that had things gone differently at any stage, Emma's life could have also gone so differently, making this quite a thought provoking and poignant story. I felt both admiration for Emma's achievements, and sadness that she wasn't able to get more of the love and support and nurturing she deserved. ( )
  seekingflight | Apr 14, 2012 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Putting the ‘functional’ back into a dysfunctional life

If ever there was a testament to seizing every experience presented, good, bad and in between, I think Emma Stephens’ For a Dancer: The Memoir is it. While many reviewers have complained that this is nothing but a jumbled succession of overdramatized events in the life of a dysfunctional family, and one individual within it, I saw a far different picture. Certainly, the author made some questionable choices through her life, but these are presented in the book in a painfully honest and bitterly open way, and always examined and presented under the light of ‘hindsight’ as one would expect with a set of memoirs. At times the book perhaps suffers from an underlying self-cynicism, and at others left me slapping my head in a kind of how could she have been so stupid kind of way, but on the whole I found the book engaging and easy to read – and very evocative of the locations in which events take place.

I must commend Ms Stephens on her excellent depiction of the cultural dislocation one suffers when moving to a country not one’s own, where the language spoken is unfamiliar and so even being able to do the simplest daily tasks that we all too often take for granted becomes like climbing the North Face of an unattainable mountain. Having recently spent some time working in Cairo (I'm from the UK), this particularly struck a chord with me. It is chapters such as this – when the content speaks to the personal experiences of the reader – that help to improve the book’s accessibility and engagement with the intended audience.

Painfully honest, all too human, all too recognizable, the events written of in For a Dancer: The Memoir present the journey of a strong individual struggling to, and succeeding in, making lemonade where life has dealt her a whole crate load of lemons. ( )
  cedargrove | Mar 28, 2012 |
It's quite possible that Emma Stephens has written one of the most courageous and honest books that I have ever read. Generally, I steer clear of memoirs as they tend to brim with the ego of celebrity. Having read the lengthy "Confessions" of JJ Rouseau, for example, he is clearly an egoist. But "For a Dancer" was written by a humble person simply and earnestly seeking a better life for herself and her son in a harsh universe. The author strikes me as a kind of pilgrim spirit like Aeneas wandering through an Underworld of dysfunctional people most for whom she cares but with radically limited means to save them or herself. Only a strong soul undertakes such a journey and then shares it with such candour. If this book were a novel, then the author could hide behind the artifice of the genre and claim so many of the most painful plot points of the story line were simply fictional. However, Stephens is fearless in her exposition and because of it she takes the higher ground of integrity and gains full credibility as a narrator despite the incredibly desperate bends of the road of her life's journey. There were times when her flawless literary style struck me as rather journalistic almost as if she lived outside herself and were seeing herself through the eyes of others. At other times the introspection is profound with a clarity devoid of self-pity during woefully hard times which she survived by her wits and resourcefulness. The demons whom she encounters are relentless and pursue her tirelessly. They are the demons that most of us encounter at some points in our lives primarily centering on broken relationships with family, friends and lovers. Clearly, Stephens is a woman with creative gifts and her narrative style read like a catharsis, almost as a pennance, for the choices that she has made which have brought her such heartbreak. She seeks merely a worthwhile and meaningful existence like all of us. Her journey takes her from extreme rural poverty in a hopelessly dysfunctional family in Virginia to Beverly Hills, the Rockies, Monaco and Oxford University in search of a meaningful vocation and a worthy partner. She is searching for a prince to save her and it turns out that her prince up to this point is her son, Gabriel, aptly named for she finds strength and even redemption in him. It is moving to witness such sacrifice at so high a cost and then to find as an unfolding and recurring epiphany that so much of the real meaning of life emerges from the love of a parent for a child. I was reminded in some of the Colorado passages of Lord Byron's prisoner of Chillon who dwells as a captive in a castle on Lake Geneva and befriends his chains in his communion with the unreachable freedom and beauty of the Swiss Alps just outside his confining cell. As Stephens approaches a midpoint in her life she anticipates that the high volatility of her prior life may moderate so that she may find tranquility, meaningful work and true love. Somewhere, perhaps, someone shall emerge who sees the pilgrim soul in her. Success is faithless master: in the spoils of success are sown every new defeat and from the ashes of defeat grow the seeds of every new victory. I respect the honesty and the courage in the worthy writing of this book and I hope that from the catharsis of its writing Stephens finds what really matters most to her. This book would make a great movie with her in the lead. Given the video playing in the heads of each of us about our life's journey, it is a reality that only seems a dream. "Who can tell the dancer from the dance?" Isn't that a penultimate question? ( )
  WordsworthGreen | Feb 24, 2012 |
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Brought up in an environment riddled with substance abuse and neglect, Emma has big dreams and little chance of ever reaching them. By the age of fourteen she is on her own, determined to escape the mentality that has crippled her family, but to succeed would mean leaving behind her sister and betraying the only life she s ever known. From the Virginia countryside to the streets of Paris, through teenage motherhood and higher education, share Emma s tears and triumphs as she searches for acceptance in an exclusive world and finds love in the most unlikely of places."

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El llibre de Emma J Stephens For A Dancer: The Memoir estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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