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Borrowed Finery: A Memoir

de Paula Fox

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
366854,380 (3.76)39
Born in the 1920s to nomadic, bohemian parents, Paula Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. Her parents, however, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, "part ally, part betrayer." Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. Never sharing more than a few moments with his daughter, Fox's father allows her to be shuttled from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative's sugarcane plantation, to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood's seedy margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the "borrowed finery" of the title of this astonishing memoir of one writer's unusual beginnings, which was instantly recognized as a modern classic.… (més)
  1. 00
    Fierce Attachments: A Memoir de Vivian Gornick (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Another memoir with troubled family relationships.
  2. 01
    A Servant's Tale de Paula Fox (cometahalley)
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» Mira també 39 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
so many people, so many locations, so many names--somewhat hard to follow. some sections move very slow, others zoom by. ( )
  mahallett | Nov 20, 2018 |
I love Paula Fox's fiction but was surprised at how much I liked her memoir. The style is plain and it is far more restrained than say Desperate Characters, but it has a kind of cumulative power. The box made me think that there are worst things than being an orphan. You can have parents who are so neglectful and irresponsible that you get none of the nurture and all of the uncertainty. At birth Fox is placed in a foundling home, then rescued at the insistence of her Cuban Grandmother by a Preist , Mr. Ellwood who provides her with a childhood of stability. The scene is a bit gothic. Old house overlooking the Hudson but Ellwood is kindly and things are ok until Mom and Dad reappear and make a pathetic attempt to raise Fox. They can't be bothered providing stability and will sweep her off to some place then get bored with her and deposit her with someone they met. To give you an idea of the depravity at one point she attends a boarding school in Montreal. The school year gets out in late May early June but her father doesn't pick her up until July. The memoir is structured impressionistically sometimes allowing short bursts of seemingly random description all clustered around location. The young Paula has no continuity and everything is uncertain. Where will she be next? Are they returning? You can see how it informs her as a writer. She is dependent upon figuring out who she is dealing with and so develops an ability to observe and assess people. Also her sense of the physical location is keen and sharply developed as location not activity marks the way she looks at time. She never complains and yet the portrait is heartbreaking. ( )
  Hebephrene | May 12, 2018 |
Un fiume di memoria in questo libro in cui la Fox cerca di fissare le tappe disordinate della propria esistenza. La latitanza dei genitori, i continui spostamenti, le figure che hanno compensato il naturale bisogno affettivo, gli errori commessi su cui l'autrice non costruisce processi sommari: molto più di un romanzo autobiografico, grazie soprattutto alla straordinaria abilità nel ritrarre un'epoca e i fermenti artistici che l'hanno caratterizzata. Nelle pagine ritroviamo nomi noti al cinema, al teatro, alla letteratura, alla musica, tanto che in diversi tratti abbiamo la certezza di trovarci dinanzi ad un romanzo corale. ( )
  cometahalley | Oct 15, 2013 |
Original brilliance ( )
  Faradaydon | Nov 8, 2012 |
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Born in the 1920s to nomadic, bohemian parents, Paula Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. Her parents, however, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, "part ally, part betrayer." Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. Never sharing more than a few moments with his daughter, Fox's father allows her to be shuttled from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative's sugarcane plantation, to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood's seedy margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the "borrowed finery" of the title of this astonishing memoir of one writer's unusual beginnings, which was instantly recognized as a modern classic.

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