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29 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374254079 / ISBN 13: 9780374254070
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1994
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Small 4to. Black cloth spine and yellow paper over boards, pictorial dust jacket. x, 198pp. Fine/near fine. Tight and handsome first edition of what the front jacket panel subtitles "The Secret Life of an American Family" -- tale of AIDs victim Don Heche, who died in 1983 at age 45. Boldly signed and inscribed by the author in black ballpoint on the title page: "For Victoria, / With much / admiration -- / Susan.". Bookseller Inventory # 33281

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Anonymity

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Interweaving childhood reminiscences with poignant meditations on the impact of grief and tragedy, a daughter details her father's 1983 death from AIDS and her family's struggle to cope with his death and his heretofore unrevealed homosexual life.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An impressionistic memoir by Bergman, a poet, in which she ``outs'' her secretly gay father, dead of AIDS, and makes her own brave and painful decision to stop living a lie. The author grew up as Susan ``Heche,'' one of four children in a picture-perfect, rigidly devout family. Her mother, who'd apparently married beneath her class--for reasons of love-- cherished the illusion of a happy marriage and family in the face of mounting evidence of things seriously amiss. Bergman's father, Don Heche, son of the abusive owner of a bait-and-tackle shop, was a talented musician and a dreamer so detached from reality that he bankrupted his family by chasing one scam after another. He was also homosexual--a fact that he took great trouble to conceal from his wife and children until his terminal illness forced him to reveal it. In 1983, Heche was one of the first people to die of AIDS. The effect on his survivors was devastating: His only son ran his car into a tree and died; Bergman's mother and two sisters floundered in their grief, each in her own self-destructive way. Throughout her narrative, Bergman alone appears stable: marrying a man she loves; giving birth; working as a teacher. But in order to deceive others and protect herself, she says, she enveloped herself in multiple images, one over the other. For as she gradually reveals here, she's keeping her own dangerous secret--as if the sins of the father have been visited on the next generation--a secret that, if disclosed, may well destroy her world. Nevertheless, in the end, the urgent desire to live impels her to reveal it to her husband. Written in a densely poetic style with shifting chronology, Bergman's story sometimes seems overly elliptical--but, by its stunning end, it achieves a brilliant and cutting clarity. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover cards. Checks are welcome. Institutions will be accommodated as their procedures require. Shipping is additional and will be quoted at the time an order is placed. Illinois residents will be charged 8.25% sales tax. Every effort has been made to describe each book and any defects accurately. If an item proves unsatisfactory for any reason, it may be returned pursuant to ABEBooks' policy. We would appreciate a courtesy cal...

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