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City of one : a memoir

by Cournos, Francine.

Format: Print Book 1999
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 1 copy
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Location Collection Status
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
In the literature of childhood loss and adult redemption City of One stands as a remarkable and powerful addition. The memoir by Francine Cournos, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, is an eloquent, clear-eyed look at the death of both her parents by the time she was eleven. Temporarily taken in by her mother's family, Cournos and her younger sister were then sent away to live with a foster family on Long Island. Looking back at these soul-shattering upheavals in her childhood, Cournos is able to unlock and reveal a child's emotional landscape as we rarely see it. Feelings of guilt, unworthiness, mistrust, and confusion are heartbreakingly rendered. And so is Cournos's determined journey toward academic achievement and personal success, which led her through a fierce adult depression to a final triumph over despair. Poignant and uplifting, City of One is a compelling study of the human ability to persevere in the face of overwhelming loss.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Francine's early childhood was full of fun adventures and happy memories. For even though Francine's father had passed away when Francine was three, her mother made sure her children knew joy. And then, tragically, Francine's mother lost her fight with cancer. Francine and her younger sister lived a short time with their grandmother until she became too feeble to care for them. It was then that, despite numerous aunts and uncles, the children were declared orphans and placed in foster homes. By burying the raw emotions deep within her, Francine stubbornly survived and even excelled, eventually becoming a doctor of psychiatry. The emotions she had buried surfaced later--City of One is the chronicle of her journey of healing. Although Cournos could publicly have ostracized the extended family that rejected her, the tone is that of acceptance and rejoicing in the knowledge that her daughter will never know that treacherous pain of rejection. From tragic to inspirational, City of One is an impressive lesson in one woman's ability to endure. --Toni Hyde"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "When Cournos was three, her father died suddenly, leaving her pregnant mother with three children to support. In this riveting, sharply etched study of a child in distress, the author, who is now in her late forties and a professor of clinical psychiatry, recalls how a childhood marked by family tragedy led to years of depression and the feeling that adults could not be trusted. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Cournos struggled to make herself into an adult by taking care of her younger sister and doing the housework, in hope that being good would save her mother's life. Upon her mother's death when Cournos was 11, the author and her sister went into foster care because her uncles and aunts refused to take them in. Cournos's prose captures her sense of abandonment and her ensuing emotional withdrawal. Despite many failed relationships with men, sexual passion allowed her to begin to feel again. A desire to understand her mother's death led Cournos to study medicine, during which time she began psychoanalysis, which provided her with the self-awareness she needed. Having overcome several setbacks, including a major depression, before becoming a happily married mother, Cournos is perceptive and convincing about the mark these experiences left on her. Agent, Richard Balkin. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Cournos, Francine.
Physicians -- United States -- Biography.
Women psychiatrists -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :W.W. Norton,1999
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 253 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0393047318
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