All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator but in nonfiction the reader must always be persuaded that the narrator is speaking truth. How does one pull from one's own boring, agitated self the truth-speaker who will tell the story a personal narrative needs to tell? That is the question The Situation and the Story asks - and answers.
"Barely talks about the difference between Situation and Story"
"Approaching Eye Level [is] about the day-to-day struggle to face down the brutality of growing loneliness, to accept the limitations of friendship and intimacy, to honor the process of becoming oneself.... Vivian Gornick's strength lies in her refusal to give up." (Mary Hawthorne, The New York Times)
In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called "the prinicpal crux of female despair": the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond.
"Mother Daughter Relationships"
In this book of new and collected critical essays, Vivian Gornick turns the searching intelligence and honesty of insight that mark her memoirs on the work - and the lives - of writers she admires, among them Jean Rhys, Willa Cather, Christina Stead, and George Meredith. In doing so, she examines a century of novels of love-in-the-Western-world and comes to see that, for most writers, it is the drama of our angry and frightened selves in the presence of love that is our modern preoccupation.
Vivian Gornick first encountered "The Solitude of Self" 30 years ago. Of that moment Gornick writes, "I hardly knew who Stanton was, much less what this speech meant in her life, or in our history, but it I can still remember thinking with excitement and gratitude, as I read these words for the first time, 80 years after they were written, 'We are beginning where she left off'." The Solitude of Self is a profound, distilled meditation on what makes American feminism American from one of the finest critics of our time.
Gornick on V. S. Naipaul, James Baldwin, George Gissing, Randall Jarrell, H. G. Wells, Loren Eiseley, Allen Ginsberg, Hayden Carruth, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth and the intimate relationship between emotional damage and great literature.
In this newly revised 25th anniversary edition, acclaimed writer and journalist Vivian Gornick interviews famous and lesser-known scientists, compares their experiences then and now, and shows that, although not much has changed in the world of science, what is different is women’s expectations that they can and will succeed. Everything from the disparaging comments by Harvard’s then-president to government reports and media coverage has focused on the ways in which women supposedly can’t do science.