Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir by Margaux FragosoTiger, Tiger: A Memoir by Margaux Fragoso

Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir

byMargaux Fragoso

Paperback | February 3, 2012

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A devastating memoir of stolen childhood, Tiger, Tiger has sold in 19 countries and is already an international sensation.

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso swam up to Peter Curran at a public swimming pool and asked him to play. She was seven; he was fifty-one. When Curran invited her and her mom to see his house, the little girl found a child's dream world, full of odd pets and books and music and magical toys. Margaux's mother was devoted, but, beset by mental illness and frightened of her abusive husband, she was only too ready to take advantage of an escape for the daughter she felt incapable of taking care of on her own. Soon Margaux was spending all her time with Peter, and any suspected signs of child abuse were overlooked.

In time, Peter insidiously took on the role of Margaux's playmate, father, lover and captor. Charming and repulsive, warm and violent, loving and manipulative, Peter burrowed into every aspect of Margaux's life and transformed her from a girl fizzing with imagination and affection into a deadened, young/old woman, suffering from serious post-traumatic stress and on the brink of suicide. But when she was twenty-two, it was Peter -- ill, and terrified at the thought of losing her -- who killed himself, at the age of sixty-six.

With lyricism and mesmerizing clarity, Margaux Fragoso has unflinchingly explored the darkest episodes of her life, helping us see how pedophiles work hidden away in the open to steal childhood. In writing Tiger, Tiger, she has healed herself of a wound that was fourteen years in the making. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the heart and mind of a monster; but more than this, it illustrates the power of memory and truth-telling to heal, and hopefully provides help toward child abuse prevention.

Margaux Fragoso recently completed a PhD in English and creative writing at Binghamton University in New York. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Literary Review and Barrow Street, among other literary journals. She lives near New Orleans.
Title:Tiger, Tiger: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 0.89 inPublished:February 3, 2012Publisher:Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926812794

ISBN - 13:9781926812793

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Editorial Reviews

"...this new memoir demands to be read and remarked upon...What makes Tiger, Tiger revelatory is how faithfully, how meticulously, it depicts the experience as one of desperate, diseased companionship""Chronical-Herald""Distasteful though the subject is, Fragoso's memoir is redeemed by the clarity of the author's understanding of her experience and by compassion for her own highly disturbed parents and for her victimizer, a wretched soul who paid the full price for his transgressions.""National Post""In this gut-wrenching, disturbing memoir of sexual abuse, Fragoso explores with unflinching honesty the ways in which pedophiles can manipulate their way into the lives of children.""Publishers Weekly""Margaux writes with great emotion about the vulnerability of youth, and how when love is lacking at home, it can cause bad things in life to become reality. This is gripping reading, which may make you want to hug your child a little tighter after finishing the book. 5 Bookmarks (out of five)""Shelf Life""The question the book poses, and answers, is how exactly does something like this happen?""Geist""With Tiger, Tiger, Fragoso has created from the ashes of her childhood a stunning, brave, personal book.""Edmonton Journal""Fragoso is pitiless in her account of the twisted codependence she shared. Using material culled from diaries and daily letters exchanged with Peter, she describes certain scenes in...unflinching detail...But if secrets and lies make abusers successful, Tiger, Tiger takes power away from them by articulating the unspeakable, encouraging readers to break their own silence.""Georgia Straight""Fragoso attempts something...courageous and precarious here. She draws a portrait of a predator that is both human and multi-dimensional...That tension between understanding and exculpation in her language is ratcheted so tightly it threatens to collapse inward on itself. But Fragoso’s voice is steadfast and there feels such a driving need for disclosure that, miraculously, she pulls it off. It’s remarkable that anyone would make it out the other side of an experience as horrific as this, let alone write such a beautifully executed memoir about it.""Shhh, I'm Reading Blog""Tiger, Tiger is the story of Margaux's (d)evolving relationship not merely with a pedophile but with reality. It is a meditation on love and need and alienation and attachment, and on the human capacity for adapting to subjugation against an innate biological drive for freedom and autonomy.""The New York Observer""Tiger, Tiger, is a memoir—and we expect to see reviewers spilling a lot of ink in their efforts to describe it... it’s unusually thoughtful and well-written, and it has a lot more than shock value to recommend it.""The Observer's Very Short List“We dare you to turn away from th[is] disturbing but beautifully written memoir. Margaux Fragoso’s Tiger, Tiger ... [is a] shockingly frank story of years of sexual abuse . . . we’ve read and heard stories like these before, but rarely in such clear, unsentimental prose.”Sara Nelson, O, The Oprah Magazine“Astonishing . . . Many memoirs have been written by survivors of childhood sexual abuse, but never has one so fearlessly (and faithfully) depicted the complex dynamic that often exists between pedophiles and their victims. In doing so, Fragoso emerges not simply as a blank canvas for Curran’s desires, but as a living, breathing, very powerful young woman who has walked through a believable (and often beautiful) sort of hell. That she is able to re-create this dark underworld so brilliantly reveals her as more than a survivor: First and foremost, Fragoso is an artist.” Kimberly Cutter, Marie Claire“A jarring and revelatory memoir about a girlhood spent with a profoundly damaged, and damaging, older man . . . her tale loops amazingly around her own coming-of-age and sets her down in adulthood with a transformative twist . . . it breaks the mold via Fragoso’s vividly poetic descriptions of place and experience, her unflakeable old-soul empathy for the flawed souls who populated her childhood (even her transgressor), and the way in which she emerges from her vexed beginnings with a healing hand and a stalwart heart . . . The manner in which Peter robs her of her childhood but still somehow points her toward a productive life turns into an astonishing and heartbreaking drama of her becoming—and his undoing, which rings down the curtain on this talented writer’s debut with a resounding finality that is, paradoxically, hard to shake off as you lay the book to rest.”Ben Dickinson, ELLE Magazine""In wincingly frank, graphic scenes, the author intricately details her harrowing evolution from a doe-eyed innocent girl to a broken, emotionally scarred victim who, at 22, was further crushed after receiving Curran's 10 handwritten suicide notes along with the key to his car. Culled from the four diaries she kept during the ordeal, Fragoso writes with searing honesty about her serpentine entanglement and of Curran's calculated, menacing exploitation of her. Intensive psychotherapy and new motherhood provide a hopeful coda to her unspeakable experience. A gripping, tragic and unforgettable chronicle of lost innocence and abuse.""Kirkus Reviews""In this gut-wrenching memoir of sexual abuse, Fragoso, who has written short stories for various literary magazines, explores with unflinching honesty the ways in which pedophiles can manipulate their way into the lives of children."" Publishers Weekly starred reviewPublishers Weekly""Brave, dark, and horrifying; Fragoso manages to elicit dignity and humanity from the most depraved souls to tell an unforgettable survivor's story. Get it. Read it. NOW!""Library Journal""Once in a generation, an essential book—a necessary book—comes along and challenges our bedrock assumptions about life. Margaux Fragoso's Tiger, Tiger is that book. Family life, the corruption of innocence, sexual abuse, pedophilia—all are unflinchingly yet exquisitely rendered as Fragoso experienced them. You will never view childhood the same way after reading Fragoso's monumentally important book.""Louise DeSalvo, author of Writing as a Way of Healing""You may think you've decided already about a child's ordeal with a sexual predator, but under Margaux Fragoso's command, you will consider the richest depths of experience, terrible, bright and beautiful. Fragoso writes with unguarded grace and provides a voice-real and haunting-for those children, everywhere among us, who are deprived of theirs.""Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death""Tiger, Tiger is stunning, in all the possible manifestations of that word.""Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City“Tiger, Tiger will start a thousand conversations. Margaux Fragoso achieves the unthinkable with empathic clarity: she humanizes a pedophile. In doing so, she makes his crime unimaginably more frightening. Her portrayal of their relationship is shocking, revelatory and fearless. As the story of a victim, it is gripping; as a work of literature, it’s a triumph.”Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones"Tiger, Tiger is the definition of what is raw; her pain penetrates the page and reaches your soul like only true and authentic suffering can...[Fragoso] reveals how a young, vibrant spirit can be broken until merely a fragment of life hangs on. Yet despite a lifetime of isolation and abuse, Margaux Fragoso has become the epitome of strength. By courageously revealing her painful and shocking past, she has provided us with education and stopped her own family's painful cycle of sexual abuse." -- Vancouver Weekly