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Saville, Laurel

20 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1440161070 / ISBN 13: 9781440161070
Published by, 2009
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

178 pages, minor edge wear, otherwise, very clean and bright copy. Record # 457809. Bookseller Inventory # 457809

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Postmortem


Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: None

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


"PostMortem is as unflinching an act of courage as you're likely to find in everyday life, a journey through soul-rotting self-destruction and its bitter zone of pain toward grace and forgiveness and the ultimate necessity of love...
Laurel Saville is capable of steady lucid prose that continually ascends to eloquence, wisdom, and, at the end of it all, compassion."

-Bob Shacochis, National Book Award-winning Author of Easy in the Islands and The Immaculate Invasion

Sadly, some lives cannot be understood until after death. So it was with Anne Ford. A charming beauty queen, model, and fashion designer during the 1950s, this glamour girl was poisoned by internal demons and the permissive Southern California culture of the 1960s and 70s. She ended her life as an alcoholic street person, stabbed and strangled in a burned-out building in West Hollywood. Years later, her daughter, the writer Laurel Saville, began the long process of unraveling the twin trajectories of this unusual life.

Postmortem takes the reader on an emotionally charged journey that ranges from her eccentric West Hollywood childhood to a top-secret, Depression-era airplane design. Whether describing the artists of the seminal Sunset Strip gallery where Andy Warhol got his start or the hippie parties at Barney's Beanery, Saville's distinctive prose lends insight into events and emotions. This candid exploration of one woman's life and death ends up exposing unexpected and highly-charged truths about both mother and daughter.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this thoughtful memoir about childhood idealism, the art world, and mental illness, Saville documents her stormy relationship with her mother, gifted artist and designer Ann Ford, who socialized with the likes of Marlon Brando and Claes Oldenburg, but whose schizophrenia, drinking, and drug use led to homelessness and a tragic end. Saville spent years coping with Ford's eccentricities and destructive behavior, grew estranged, and finally moved away. But when she learned of her mother's murder at the hands of a transient, she began digging into the past and questioning assumptions about her grandparents, her mother's talents, her parents' breakup, and her own upbringing. Saville creates lovely imagery and writes with introspection, but she holds her most personal material at arm's length, preventing readers from ever fully engaging with the story. The book has all the right pieces—mental illness, childhood trauma, substance abuse, and celebrity—but it is clumsily fashioned. While Saville is clearly trying to come to terms with her own story, readers will not find it as easy to maintain interest.
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