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Paperback My Sister from the Black Lagoon: A Novel of My Life Book

ISBN: 0684855380

ISBN13: 9780684855387

My Sister from the Black Lagoon: A Novel of My Life

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

"I was born into a mentally ill family. My sister was the officially crazy one, but really we were all nuts." So begins My Sister from the Black Lagoon, Laurie Fox's incandescent novel of growing up absurd. Lorna Person's tale is wrested from the shadows cast by her sister, Lonnie, whose rages command the full attention of her parents. Their San Fernando Valley household is off-key and out of kilter, a place where Lonnie sees evil in the morning toast...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A tender, funny, and thoroughly absorbing novel!

"My Sister from the Black Lagoon" absorbs and entertains from its engaging first line ("I was born into a mentally ill family. My sister was the officially crazy one, but really we were all nuts") to its almost dreamy, nostalgic end. Laurie Fox's autobiographical novel tells the double coming-of-age story of Lorna Person (the narrator) and her deeply-disturbed, brilliant, and gender-bended sister Lonnie, ill from birth with an undiagnosed mental disorder that makes her run wild with animals, rage at "normal" people. and generally live in her own, untamed, internal universe. Lorna and Lonnie grow up in the TV soaked and inspired environment of '50's Burbank. While the family struggles to cope with Lonnie's illness (with weekly trips to the psychiatric clinic and prescription sedatives for the parents), lonely Lorna plays at normality, escaping into the fantasy worlds of movies, theater, and music. As the '50's turn into the '60's, the Person family dissolves. Their parents divorce, Lorna discovers love and friendship, Lonnie becomes more and more removed from society. When, as a late adolescent in college, Lorna finally cracks, her salvation again comes from the theater. This time, though, not through playing another person's character, but by creating her own. While "My Sister" is largely Lorna's story of creeping out from under her sister's overbearing shadow, it is always Lonnie's story too. Fox's voice is wry yet always compassionate and utterly respectful as each sister grows into being her own Person.This book is an excellent choice for those interested in a tale of a family fighting terrible odds, for those fascinated by the symbiotic, twisted, loving relationship any sisterhood entails, for those intrigued by the ravages mental illness imparts on an otherwise "normal" neurotic household, for those who believe in art as salvation, or simply for those who enjoy a very good read.

Powerful and a definate eye-opener

Laurie Fox has a gut-wrenching story that evolves at just the right pace, drawing you into her family and showing, little by little, that it is not only her sister that needs help. I loved this book and read it all in one sitting. The way Fox shows her entire life for all to read is inspiring!

Well-writen, poetic, hauntingly honest with humor

Laurie Fox is truly a poet. Her autobiographical tale ellicits the difficult truths that survivors from a home with a mentally ill member hold private and constant. Lorna's troubled childhood with her mentally ill sister is fraught with the anxieties and laughter that all girls can relate to, but her struggle to succeed as an independent woman and learn to live with the guilt of surviving in a dysfunctional family are what makes the telling of the novel so relentlessly gripping. Laurie Fox bares her soul, her sorrow, and her story in an accessible, emotional, and sympathetic style. This is her first novel, but I can't wait to read more.

The next Salinger

On the cover, Wally Lamb compares this book to Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and is that the truth! Fox is the first writer in recent memory to capture Salinger's sense of the heart, the humour, the ruefulness to be found in one young person's heart. Bravo, Fox, you are a master in the making.

MY SISTER is this season's bookseller sleeper

Laurie Fox has written a modern day "Portrait of the Artist as a Youn Man", with a female hero. Additionally, she brings to life the culture of suburbia, as vividly as Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm" did in celluloid (and possibly Rick Moody in his original story).I loved it--I was incredibly moved by Fox's thougtful character renderings. She is particularly adept at describing mental illness--uncovering the realities of it and bringing these truths to life as no other book has ever done.This is Fox's first novel, I hope there are many more!
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