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My Father's House: A Memoir of Incest and of Healing

Sylvia Fraser

2 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

A remarkable memoir of one woman's courage, power and eloquence to break through amnesia to face the tortured person which resides there as a result of incest and abuse

She was a beautiful blond child, a quintessential Canadian teenager: she loved Saturday film matinees, giggled at pyjama parties, ran for student president, led the cheerleading squad, went steady with the right boy and married him, her proud father at her side. But from the age of seven Sylvia Fraser shared her body with a 'twin' who lived a separate life from her. This other self was created to do the things Sylvia was too frightened, too ashamed, too repelled to do - the things her father made her do. As an adult, she had no recollection of a sexual relationship with her father, yet some connection always remained - pain, terror and guilt were never far from the surface. With tremendous power, candour and eloquence, Sylvia Fraser breaks through her amnesia to discover and embrace the self she left behind. MY FATHER'S HOUSE is at once a terrible account of a woman's coming of age and a lyric story of love and forgiveness.

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Praise for My Father's House: A Memoir of Incest and of Healing

  • MY FATHER'S HOUSE has the tension and pace of a detective novel - except that the detective is a part of the narrator's self, and so is the murder victim. A beautifully written, heart-wrenching and ultimatley healing story by an amazing and courageous woman - Margaret Atwood

  • Her book mingles accounts of ordinary life with short, italicised memories of abuse, a method which throws a sinister shadow over the reader's mind, as all accounts of sexual abuse in the home do, by destroying the innocence of the ordinary with a stain - IRISH TIMES

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Sylvia Fraser

Sylvia Fraser was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1935. She published her first novel, PANDORA, in 1972. Her other works of fiction include THE CANDY FACTORY, A CASUAL AFFAIR, THE EMPEROR'S VIRGIN and BERLIN SOLSTICE. She was awarded the Canadian Authors Association's prize for non-fiction for this book. She lives and writes in Toronto.

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