Hitchcock Blonde: A Cinematic Memoir | Sharon Dolin (VIRTUAL EVENT: In Conversation with Jacki Lyden)
Where: McNally Jackson
52 Prince St.
212-274-1160 Price: Free
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Imagine a memoir that braids together insights about Alfred Hitchcock’s movies with the narrative of a woman’s life: scenes of growing up in Brooklyn in the Sixties and Seventies as the daughter of a schizophrenic mother and a traveling salesman father, adolescent sexual traumas, and adult botched marriages and relationships— all refracted through the lens of ten of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movies.
In each chapter, the narrator—an award-winning poet—trains her idiosyncratic lens on a different film and then onto the uncanny connections they conjure up from her own life. A singular cliffhanging tale, reminiscent in style of Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk.
“Sharon Dolin’s trademark quick-wit and candor are infused with an uncanny mix of flirt and fury.” – Terrance Hayes
“Often startling, full of surprises, this one-of-a-kind memoir is both eerie and entertaining. It is a candid experiment in memory retrieval with the aid of Hitchcock movies, until finally what we get is a fusion, life recalled as a riveting dream film: part-horror, part-romance.” – Phillip Lopate
“Sharon Dolin performs a miracle in her memoir, deconstructing Hitchcock films and using the shards to help build a mosaic of coming of age in 1960s and ’70s Brooklyn and living a woman’s life in landscapes as diverse as Hitchcock’s own. Every chapter glimmers and surprises with its insights into Hitchcock’s scenes and his personal obsessions, which Dolin then redirects to an exploration of identity, sexuality, gender roles, and mental illness. This is a rich American story!” – Bonnie Jo Campbell
“Sharon Dolin’s candid memoir of mid-century working class Brooklyn (and beyond) is one only a poet could have written. Not because it is “poetic”—in fact it is sharply narrated, without gloss, even offering the hair-raising twists of a mystery novel. The echo of the Hitchcock movies that shapes the book’s chapters is no mere literary device. It’s an uncanny, captivating choral presence that brings depth of field to this history of family life and erotic urgency.” – Patricia Hampl
Sharon Dolin is the award-winning author of six poetry collections, most recently Manual for Living and Whirlwind. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Gordon Barber Award from the Poetry Society of America and her translation work has been supported by Institut Ramon Llull and the PEN/Heim Translation Fund. Her fourth book, Burn and Dodge won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry in 2008. Follow her on Twitter @SharonDolin and for more information visit her website: sharondolin.com. She lives in New York City.
Jacki Lyden is the author of the acclaimed memoir Daughter of the Queen of Sheba, about growing up with her mentally ill mother. She is a former NPR correspondent and host of several decades. She is also a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism, and founded the writers workshop “Love Comes in at the Eye” in Connemara, Ireland in 2017. She is a board member of the Cheuse Writing Center at George Mason University. She has won numerous journalism awards, interviewed scores of authors and poets, and is working on her next memoir.Buy tickets/get more info now