An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir by Ariel Leve

An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir

byAriel Leve

Paperback | June 13, 2017

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A beautiful, startling, and candid memoir about growing up without boundaries, in which Ariel Leve recalls with candor and sensitivity the turbulent time she endured as the only child of an unstable poet for a mother and a beloved but largely absent father, and explores the consequences of a psychologically harrowing childhood as she seeks refuge from the past and recovers what was lost.

Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsy-turvy world of conditional love?

Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child’s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father’s home in South East Asia—an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve—relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields clarity of what was missing.

In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child’s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life.

About The Author

Ariel Leve is an award-winning journalist who worked as a senior writer on contract with the London Sunday Times Magazine from 2003 to 2011. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, and other publications. She is the author of It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me, a coll...
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Details & Specs

Title:An Abbreviated Life: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inPublished:June 13, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062269461

ISBN - 13:9780062269461

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“Electric reading . . . brave, calm testimony.”