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Riding Fury Home: A Memoir

by Adela M. Brito
Contributor
Monday Apr 9, 2012
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Chana Wilson’s memoir "Riding Fury Home" is a powerful narrative of healing, forgiveness, and redemption. Wilson’s personal story begins in 1958 and spans forty years; it is the history of her complex relationship with her mother.

Gloria was not a loving mother to Chana in the early years and tried to commit suicide a few times. When Chana was seven years old, Gloria put a rifle to her head, one that jammed, and was institutionalized and underwent electroshock treatments. But she could not be "cured" of her lesbianism, a truth Chana came to learn as a young woman and the real reason for the suicidal tendencies and the abusive psychiatric treatments. Gloria’s love affair with another married woman was the source of the anguish that drove her to try to kill herself.

Wilson is eloquent in putting grief, fear, and survival vividly onto the page. Her details and comical anecdotes stimulate the senses and keep the reader turning the pages. Her words take us on the journey of this complicated relationship, including Chana having to become her mother’s caretaker, and shows us how the relationship changes and grows with time. In the 1970s, both mother and daughter came out as the women’s movement created the possibility of women living more openly as lesbians. Their struggles finally lead them to a more loving mother-daughter relationship.

Wilson does a marvelous job at relating everything from the early visits to the institution she made with her father when she was just seven years old, to the unavoidable resentment, and the eventual reconciliation. This journey to healing is a compelling read and highly recommended, as it is more than just a story of a daughter and her mother, but also a tale of self-discovery and the history of the intolerance of the ’50s, through turbulent social times, the exhilaration of the women’s movement of the ’70s, to same-sex marriage.

This reader highly recommends "Riding Fury Home," Chana Wilson’s story of turbulence - personal and social - and healing.


"Riding Fury Home: A Memoir"
Chana Wilson
Seal Press
www.sealpress.com
$17.00

Adela Brito, a freelance writer and editor, has been writing about music, books, and the arts since 2000. Visit her at: www.musicalbites.com
and www.foureyesedit.com.

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