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This is labeled as a memoir and I guess I find that confusing, as the author who is apparently famous? One short chapter will discuss the abusive relationship she had with her father, then she talks about being in a foreign country as a child, then she talks abou I finished this a few days ago and forgot to review it - that's a good indicator of how much it stuck with me!

One short chapter will discuss the abusive relationship she had with her father, then she talks about being in a foreign country as a child, then she talks about somewhere she lived as a divorced? But there's little description of who her husband or daughter are, or how other relationships developed. Maybe it would appeal to the ADHD brain I just couldn't keep track of it all. I'm giving it three stars because she described my old neighborhood in Amherst MA very accurately, which made me laugh!

That being said, is this lady really famous? Her books have been made into movies? I've honestly never heard of her. Sep 02, Bookforum Magazine added it Shelves: The woman famously photographed in a ballgown in a meat locker downtown is now living in a trailer with eight dogs and dating her local contractor. I don't know why she gave us Scream, this self-portrait of a woman postlapse, but I can't help but look. A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction in the Fall issue of Bookf "You cannot slough off your family, but you can turn your back on New York City, where people come to find their accidental families.


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Nov 08, Zack rated it really liked it. Goodreads Giveaway - This is memoir as collage. Janowitz bounces around in short, tight chapters recounting her childhood, adolescence, young adult, adult life. The anecdotes range from stories of her encounters with artists and celebrities to tales of woe about her family.

The most vivid of these tales are the ones revolving around her family - who are a chaotic and extraordinary cast of characters. The writing is very conversational and lends well to the narratives.

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My only complaint was that Goodreads Giveaway - This is memoir as collage. My only complaint was that the book was so short, I wanted more. Aug 19, patty rated it really liked it Shelves: This was an unexpected entertaining tale though sad at times. Glamour and dysfunction indeed! A balanced mix of gossip and name dropping is the glamour, the rest is all dysfunction.

Heavy on lifelong familial struggles - extreme at times - mixed in with tales of nightmarish in-home parental care and nursing homes. View all 5 comments. Dec 24, Rachel rated it it was amazing.

Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction

I have actually never read her fiction but now I will definitely read Slaves of New York. Aug 07, Alvin rated it really liked it. You just can't help but be on her side! She also pays close attention to money and class, subjects glossed over by too many residents of the NYC privilege bubble.

Sep 07, Ian Webster rated it it was amazing. Oct 22, Margaret rated it really liked it. A memoir of how the author survived a sadistic father, a greedy, vindictive brother, and a mother who descended into dementia. She bounced back and forth between relative affluence and poverty. Nov 23, Debbie rated it really liked it. You will never complain about your family again. If they're worse than this, I'm sorry.

Laugh out loud funny. Dec 05, Barbara Q rated it it was ok. The writing was OK if you like autobiographies heavy with hyperbole and self-serving.

The subject Tama is not evolved, although her stated devotion to her mother is somewhat redemptive. But, jeez, all the other pathetic, criminal, grasping, horrid people in her life Is she poor or not? Her past moment of fame. She is always unsuspecting, clueless and mostly pathetic. By her own admission, she doesn't want to The writing was OK if you like autobiographies heavy with hyperbole and self-serving. By her own admission, she doesn't want to write about nice people and she hasn't. Jul 18, Paul rated it really liked it.

Bitter, snarky, darkly humorous memoir from a bitter snarky New York author who leaves the city to care for her ailing mother in upstate New York. Very conversational, the narrative jumps back and forth through time, sometimes in the same paragraph, chronicling author's chaotic upbringing, her bout with semi-fame and caring for her mother. Tama admits she doesn't write about nice people and doesn't consider herself one. All the better, she is at turns witty, heartbroken, pathetic and astounded a Bitter, snarky, darkly humorous memoir from a bitter snarky New York author who leaves the city to care for her ailing mother in upstate New York.

All the better, she is at turns witty, heartbroken, pathetic and astounded at both the lack of human kindness and the abundance of it. I've always loved Tama Janowitz's no-nonsense writing and drily witty observations and this memoir does not disappoint.

Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

I read it in one sitting. Being a woman over 50 as I am , caring for a mother with dementia as I have , the state of our culture now done by showing in some exasperation, not preaching , city living - she covers a lot of ground, telling numerous stories from her life. Tama, I kn I've always loved Tama Janowitz's no-nonsense writing and drily witty observations and this memoir does not disappoint.

Tama, I know exactly what you mean. Nov 15, Sara rated it it was ok. I don't understand the appeal of this author - she writes like a not-very-bright adolescent. She may have had some interesting experiences and ran in an interesting social circle, but that does not make HER an interesting person - her observations are basic and rather dull and her writing style is rudimentary at best.

Feb 17, David Reynolds rated it it was amazing. I have read all 11 of Tama's books, we were friends for a while, and then this one comes out. It is no less unsettling and brilliant and hilarious than her fictions Which is what I've always expected of Tama's work. It was all real. But, still, very disturbing and very funny. Feb 11, Angela rated it really liked it. Whatever happened to Tama Janowitz? You'll know after reading this.

I'd recommend listening in audio because she narrates and it is funnier in her own voice. Her life now is more amusing and interesting than her glamour days back in 80's NYC. Jan 15, Jessica rated it really liked it. Classic Janowicz, super smart and over the top, loved learning about her wacked out family, we could've been sisters!

Aug 29, Sarah Logan-Reynolds rated it liked it. I overlooked the dysfunction part and enjoyed the glamour! It's a slow starter but a great, unassuming memoir. Aug 10, Andrea Jeanine rated it it was ok. Tama's take on her life experiences was interesting for sure, but her storytelling skills were not enough for me to finish this book. I had a hard time following her story - she jumped from one situation to the next and then went back again - all without any precursor or telling signs of where she was taking you and why. She was funny and parts of the pages that I read definitely made me chuckle, but I got frustrated by the jumpiness and mishmash of language and couldn't bring myself to fini Tama's take on her life experiences was interesting for sure, but her storytelling skills were not enough for me to finish this book.

She was funny and parts of the pages that I read definitely made me chuckle, but I got frustrated by the jumpiness and mishmash of language and couldn't bring myself to finish. I like a writer who is good at doing just that - writing and flowing and making sense from one scene to the next. You have to keep your reader not just in a state of interest but also in a state of understanding Nov 21, Kenzie Townsend rated it really liked it.

Her reflections are very interesting and at her core she remains the wallflower. Taking it all in like one big breath. I liked her stories as they weren't at the post pop culture end because she was right in the middle of it all. Like, if Kurt Cobain or Jimi Hendrix had a journalist best friend that wrote like a novelist. It would be close to her writing. There's not much name dropping, though. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Tama Janowitz is an American novelist and a short story writer.

Our Guide To 2017’s Great Reads

Born in San Francisco, California to a psychiatrist father and literature professor mother who divorced when she was ten, Janowitz moved to the East Coast of the United St Tama Janowitz is an American novelist and a short story writer. Born in San Francisco, California to a psychiatrist father and literature professor mother who divorced when she was ten, Janowitz moved to the East Coast of the United States to attend Barnard College and the Columbia University School of the Arts and started writing about life in New York City, where she had settled down.

She socialized with Andy Warhol and became well-known in New York's literary and social circles. Her collection of short stories, Slaves of New York brought her wider fame. Janowitz wrote the screenplay and also appeared, playing Peters' friend. Janowitz has published seven novels, one collection of stories and one work of non-fiction. I have mixed feelings while writing this review. After finishing the book, I went back to reread the book descriptions to see what I might have missed when choosing this book.

Yes, the rebellious spirit of a young teenage girl shines through, one that emerges from I have mixed feelings while writing this review. Yes, the rebellious spirit of a young teenage girl shines through, one that emerges from a broken home and two parents using their children to hurt a former marriage partner. Marquardt leaves the home of her mother while remaining in the same town and living with friends, eventually winding up in the same city she started at and living with her father.

We are privy to her thoughts, running the gamut of what she enjoys about drinking as well as her intimate nervousness concerning young men and sex. I kept waiting for an epiphany, something that happened that caused her to change direction and head toward a life with more promise. Marquardt has authored a book and, truth be told, she demonstrates a writing skill that flows well and is engaging. Details of her partying accompanied by teenage angst thus encompasses the majority of the book. This was a Kindle First or First Reads book.

View all 6 comments. Aug 06, Marissa Christenson Lang rated it it was ok. She lives there for 3 months, and both her divorced parents know where she is, talk to her, visit her, and her dad sends her money every week. She attends the same high school. She then moves in with a different friend and her family for 3 more months, before moving back in with her mom.

Then she lives with her dad for a year, graduates, and goes to college. She definitely had a troubled adolescence but painting herself as a child with nowhere to go is just dishonest. The book definitely needed editing. Aug 02, Ryan rated it it was amazing. This memoir is a must-read for anybody who has struggled to find themselves, who loves reading about dysfunctional families, anything 90's or Canadian.

And for those who are just fans of honest, good writing. Well written and compelling. Aug 05, Jillian rated it liked it. Every page of this book is stuffed with cigarettes and smoking. They added nothing to the story and in fact, distracted me from what was supposed to be the point. In one page she mentioned smoking 6 times, and every page is like that. This book was confusing.

It would go back in time and then forward so I had to read it carefully. I liked the concept of Stray but found it mostly boring. Oct 27, Fayla rated it really liked it. Part 1- 5 stars Part 2- 3 stars Part 3- 3. The stories were short and poignant. While the writing was plain, that was its strength. What I loved was the self-awareness that maybe this story is being told by an unreliable narrat Part 1- 5 stars Part 2- 3 stars Part 3- 3.

What I loved was the self-awareness that maybe this story is being told by an unreliable narrator. Part 2 was boring. Part 3 improved the themes introduced in Part 2. The details brought everyone into as clear focus as the author. Well almost everyone - her family, except for mom, were still background characters making frequent cameo appearances.

The end was very frustrating: Ok, so she achieved her goal of graduating high school and going to college, but so what? At this point, I want to know how she came to deal with her trauma, repaired familial relationships, and what happened to all her friends. All in all, a pretty good read. Nov 05, Luanne Ollivier added it. Memoir of a Runaway from Canadian Tanya Marquardt is "the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself.

Stray opens in Tanya is sixteen and has just run away from her mother and stepfather's home. We learn some of the details of her past and what has led to this exodus -an alcoholic father, a violent home, a mother who lived with her two children in this dysfunc Stray: We learn some of the details of her past and what has led to this exodus -an alcoholic father, a violent home, a mother who lived with her two children in this dysfunctional relationship longer than she should have.

By the time her mother makes a move to get out, fourteen year old Tanya has already forged an intimate relationship with alcohol. Tanya finds a sense of family and security with others living on the fringes of society, from the 'wrong' side of Port Alberni to the underground Goth scene in Vancouver's early nineties. Stray reads like a journal or diary.

30 of the Best Memoirs Has to Offer Readers

Putting your life to paper is so intimate, revealing details, baring your life for others to see. Loss, regrets, hopes, dreams - and reality. I am always so appreciative of an author sharing something so personal with strangers. I thought about the title. As a verb, stray is defined as "to move away aimlessly from a group or from the right course or place" and as an adjective, 'to wander off, go astray, get separated, get lost. Stray does only cover only a short period of time. I had become caught up in Marquardt's story and would have loved to see how she ended up where she is today.

That being said, I really enjoyed Stray. Marquardt's writing is raw and engaging. Meh This memoir held some personal interest because I grew up with a similar group of friends and circumstances. There are a lot of information dumps, which can get a little tedious. I found this memoir to be incredible. Poo poo on all the naysayers. Tanya's writing is incredibly raw and forthcoming.

Her book is not meant to be solely about being a "runaway" but as a "stray". How could you not pick up on the stray feeling throughout the book??!? She had no roots, no home, her entire childhood. You felt let down by her book? YOU felt let down by someone else's misery Tanya is giving us a piece of her existence in an incredibly honest I found this memoir to be incredible. Tanya is giving us a piece of her existence in an incredibly honest way. So here's my "spoiler": View all 7 comments.


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  5. Sep 04, Lindsay Nixon rated it liked it. Held to the title and expectation it creates this book fails miserably. Her teenage angst comes through the writing is pretty solid and flows well and it reads like a playbook of that year lots of parties, experimentation, nervousness around boys and blackouts from excessive drinking.

    You miss out on the good stuff. I would have loooved more on that and less about metal corsets. The writing is good, and she will keep you captivated, but mostly this book overpromises and hardly delivers what it says it will. Reading memoirs is always personal and I look for a reason for why someone felt their life should be read about by strangers. The first half of this book was filled with just awful stories and even went so far as to, in my opinion, glorify cutting and it just pissed me off.

    YES, you had a bad life and obviously you hate it and heck, here, have a medal for the Worst Lif Reading memoirs is always personal and I look for a reason for why someone felt their life should be read about by strangers. YES, you had a bad life and obviously you hate it and heck, here, have a medal for the Worst Life Ever — you win.

    But in the second half of the book more introspection was shared and even some regrets. Good teachers like that are life changing. Their impact is eternal. This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads. Stray comes out officially on September 1, These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray. In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school. She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it.

    Her childhood left me so sad. Marquardt has overcome a lot in her life. She survived through abuse, a rough relationship with her divorced parents, and poverty only to relive it by writing about it. This book reads a lot like a general non-fiction novel and I had to remind myself that this was in fact a true story. My heart kept breaking with every turn of the page. The ending is anti-climactic but again, it is a memoir.

    I would have liked more closure at the end of the book, but, that is my opinion. Overall this book was a powerful, insightful read. I really commend Marquardt for staying focused on her education throughout her rough spot in her life. Any more details about this book and it would be giving it all away. I am giving this book 3 stars. This book was well written and kept my interest. It saddened me to think that there are children, innocent children, out there that live this life.

    The ending just lacked and I would have appreciated to know the outcome of her transition from high school to college. Obviously, she became successful as she wrote a book but the book just ends with her at an interview for college. I felt like I went on this journey with her for a better life and she left me hanging. It was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous, powerful read. This is a book that I feel will speak to people in different ways.

    Other readers may well relate to this book emotionally, reliving their own experiences through the narrative of this memoir. Childhood experiences are evaluated, dissected, re-inflected and pondered often. Tanya Marquardt captures many aspects of this in an honest, inglorious and revealing dialogue, one that invites you to share and understand the nuances of her background. Not once did I see any of this story as teenage angst, I related to a lot of the struggles mentioned. Some other reviews on this book mention that the conclusion feels a little light.

    Often, at least for me, surviving a fractured childhood and not recreating it is conclusion enough. Thank you to Little a Publishing for a free copy of this book for review. This was an interesting book that kept me wanting more. The author tells her story of her dysfunctional upbringing and how she lived and survived up to age 17 when the book ends.

    It is truly heartbreaking to read about the emotional and at times physical abuse she suffered and it is so commendable that she overcame her childhood. Throughout the turmoil she continued her education and went on to university and a successful Thank you to Little a Publishing for a free copy of this book for review. Throughout the turmoil she continued her education and went on to university and a successful career.

    I had some problems with the timeline in places which threw me off a little. I think the book would have been even more impactful if it had continued. The book ends just as she is going to start university and I would have liked to hear how she turned her life around and to learn about her relationship with her family now.

    I think this would have given the book more closure and given us a better sense of how she became the person she is today. Oct 07, Julian rated it it was ok Shelves: I got this for free from Amazon. It is about a 16yo in a very dysfunctional Canadian family. The father is a violent alcoholic and a , after the divorce, the family splits.