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Fb2 Darkroom: A Family Exposure ePub

by Matthew McKee,Lynda Morgan,Jill Christman

Category: Memoirs
Subcategory: Memoris and Biographies
Author: Matthew McKee,Lynda Morgan,Jill Christman
ISBN: 0820324442
ISBN13: 978-0820324449
Language: English
Publisher: University of Georgia Press (October 14, 2002)
Pages: 254
Fb2 eBook: 1951 kb
ePub eBook: 1146 kb
Digital formats: lit mbr azw doc

Darkroom could have been a maudlin read, but it's saved by Christman's insight and skill and leavened by occasional passages of humor. Washington Post Book World)

Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events. Darkroom could have been a maudlin read, but it's saved by Christman's insight and skill and leavened by occasional passages of humor. Washington Post Book World).

Jill Christman's memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the 2001 AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction and in 2011 was reissued in paperback by the University of Georgia Press

Jill Christman's memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the 2001 AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction and in 2011 was reissued in paperback by the University of Georgia Press. Her first e-book, Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood, was released by Shebooks in September 2014 & Audible.

Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny

Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny.

Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events, including childhood sexual abuse, accidental death, and psychological trauma, Christman's poignant memoir is much more than a litany of horrors; instead, it is an open-eyed, wide-hearted, and good-humored look at a life worth surviving.

In the Darkroom was critically acclaimed

In the Darkroom was critically acclaimed. The New York Times' Michelle Goldberg described the memoir as a "rich, arresting and ultimately generous investigation of father", while The Guardian's Claire Harman called it a "remarkable, moving and courageous book". Also writing for The Guardian, Rachel Cooke concluded that, "Faludi's book, reticent and elegant and extremely clever, will.

Jill Christman, Darkroom: A Family Exposure. What if I took the picture books that my grandmother made and snapped open the rings in every binder, let the plastic pages spill out onto the floor, and then attacked them with my scissors? Those books, pasted together by my grandmother, year after year, replaced the cognitive exercise of memory for me. Sitting on a section of wall-to-wall carpeting, drinking the bubbling red birch beer from a tinted brown glass, I reestablished my relationships with the members of my family

Linda Morgan (born 1942), now known as Linda Hardberger, became known as the "miracle girl" following the collision of two large passenger ships in the North Atlantic Ocean on the foggy night of July 25, 1956.

Linda Morgan (born 1942), now known as Linda Hardberger, became known as the "miracle girl" following the collision of two large passenger ships in the North Atlantic Ocean on the foggy night of July 25, 1956. The 14-year-old girl, born in Mexico City, Mexico, was sharing a two-bed cabin with her younger half-sister on the . Andrea Doria en route from Gibraltar when the ship was struck broadside by the prow of the MS Stockholm near Nantucket

Jill Christman’s memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction.

Jill Christman’s memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction. She teaches creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children.

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Morgan I know what it's like to be the youngest one in the family. You think nobody is listening to you or your ideas, but they are. You're very important, and they'll take everything you say into consideration

Morgan I know what it's like to be the youngest one in the family. You're very important, and they'll take everything you say into consideration sometimes, you gotta g. organ I was once the youngest, just like yo. .

Darkroom: A Family Exposure is Jill Christman's gripping, funny, and wise account of her first thirty years. Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events, including childhood sexual abuse, accidental death, and psychological trauma, Christman's poignant memoir is much more than a litany of horrors; instead, it is an open-eyed, wide-hearted, and good-humored look at a life worth surviving.

Through a shifting narrative of text and photographs, Christman explores the intersection of image and memory and considers the ways photographs force us to rework our original memories. Darkroom is a page-turning and disturbing journey that begins with an older brother's near fatal burning and progresses through a counterculture childhood in which her free-spirited mother moves the family to an isolated mountaintop. The story advances into an adolescence of eating disorders and barely remembered sex, slams into a young adulthood of love, literature, drugs, death, and therapists, and ends soon after a beloved uncle bleeds to death in a federal prison while serving a ten-year sentence for growing marijuana.

Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny. She deftly blends narrative, quoted materials, her uncle's letters, and her father's photography to create a family saga that is both heartbreaking and exhilarating.

Comments to eBook Darkroom: A Family Exposure
invasion
I reread this memoir after seven or eight years because my students and I loved three of her essays we studied. Having written my own memoir and read a boatload of memoirs in the meantime, I had developed my taste. I got a lot more out of it the second time because I saw what Jill Christman is doing with memory, trauma, and her distanced, wiser self.

In her telling, the many traumas in her life—including a brother's nearly fatal scalding, her sexual molestation, a fatal car accident, another death, and a lethal imprisonment—are not sensational plot points but, rather, parts of a legacy she lives with and is trying to resolve. Her stance as an inquiring survivor, with effective but sparing dramatization of the past, is key to the high literary quality of Darkroom and to the fact that it's not unbearably harrowing to read.

Photographs and memories, metaphors for each other, and their shifting meanings form the ground of her inquiry. What's interesting ultimately is her survival, her healing, her wisdom, and the literary shaping of her experience—these are this memoir's gifts. This is a memoir to be savored and honored as a work of art.
Fearlessdweller
Was poignant, but dark. Sometimes difficult to discern whether the author was talking to one of her psychiatrists, a member of her family, or just musing to herself.
Jum
Photographs are permanent images, but our memories fluctuate and transform themselves. What is pictured in photos is often photo-shopped in our minds and hearts. Jill Christman examines the interactions of memories and photos as she looks at her own family photos, stories, and personal memories in her award-winning memoir Darkroom: A Family Exposure. She simultaneously reports her family's story, analyzes it, and comments on how memory might affect it. She insists that photographs, rather than reinforcing our memories, often force us to rework them.

Her family story begins before she was born when her "two-year-old brother's skin left its indelible print on [her] father's palms." Sound bizarre? That's her memory of a family story thirty years after it happened. "The story of Ian's burning changes like a hurt and healing body--written, erased, written over with the thick tissue of scars: coordinating palimpsests of words and flesh. Each time memory ignites, details mutate and emotion shifts: she remembers a phone call, he remembers that the diaper was on, they both remember the scream. Elements are scraped away, scribbled in, retracted, and still some pink shows through." Memories twist, but photos capture a moment in time. They do it without emotional judgment or distortion, but they also do it without the context that memory provides.

Christman tells her family story by comparing actual photos of family members with her personal memories and supplementing her narration with academic research about the ways memory distorts the truth. Her own life is her best illustration of the ways both memories and photos shape self-knowledge.

She examines her counter-culture childhood, her eating disorders, sexual abuse, love, the death of a lover, the death of her Grammy, literature, and the journeys that five therapists took her through as she fought to make sense of her life. She writes of an absentee artist father, an uncle sentenced to ten years in jail for growing marijuana, and a mother who struggled before responding to her daughter's needs. Darkroom is an intense encounter between Christman's cerebral, emotional, and analytical sides. She pieces her complex stories together as skillfully as her Grammy placed photos in a family scrapbook.

Well-written books about any family's dysfunction appeal to me. I'm curious about relationships and how they are perceived, and I enjoy comparing other families to my own.

The interspersed quotes from experts confirm Christman's analysis but occasionally pulled me out of the story. Maybe that was her intention. I couldn't help wondering if those quotes had the same disorienting effect on the reader as Christman experienced when the old photos didn't match her memories. Most of her exquisite language and deep thought kept me riveted, though. She encouraged me see my own life through a new lens.

Alternately humorous, sensitive, intellectual, evocative and eye opening, Darkroom is a written collage that will touch and enlighten readers. No wonder Christman won the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction for this deep, thorough examination of photos and memories. I recommend Darkroom: A Family Exposure to all thinking women.

by B. Lynn Goodwin
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
Agarus
I confess I was drawn to this book by a)the inside jacket cover photo of the exceptionally attractive young female memoirist who seemed posessed of an enigmatic, almost haunted look, and b) the mysterious suggestiveness of the book title and partially obscured cover photo -- redolent of dark family revelations -- and I was not disappointed. 30-year old Jill Christman writes a searing account of harrowing family traumas, including her own recovered memory of childhood sexual abuse, the tragic auto accident that killed the young man who was the love of her life, her older brother's being nearly scorched to death by a freak shower incident, her near life-long estrangement from her father, and the wretched death in jail of a beloved uncle incarcerated for growing marijuana. All of these dark tales are leavened with ironic humor and described in superb detail. For me, the near 20 page account of Jill's preparation of a melted cheese sandwich for her frail grandmother, the ingestion of which led to her not untimely demise, was the piece de resistance.
Whatever
With some of the intensity of *The Bell Jar* and some of its artlessness, *Darkroom* purportedly details Jill Christman's life with disarming candor and rue. Born into a family so doggedly dysfunctional that the alternative is never an issue, the author's account of suffering bulimia, sexual abuse, and inadequate and self-centered relatives makes a sad but not an unfamiliar recipe. It is counterpointed by her many-sided love for her family and boyfriend. Interspersed throughout the scatter-shot presentation, Ms. Christman weaves the idea of art, pictorial and literary: this is a book or a photo, not life. Well, you can't have it both ways, yet if this element perforce seems insufficiently integrated, her narrative remains, despite the post-modernist consciousness, a sharply affecting story.
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