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She Matters : A Life in Friendships
by Susanna Sonnenberg


Overview - From the bestselling "immensely gifted" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times ) author of Her Last Death comes a stunningly candid, compulsively readable, intensely provocative book about female friendships.

The New York Times called Susanna Sonnenberg "immensely gifted," and Vogue , "scrupulously unsentimental." Entertainment Weekly described Sonnenberg's Her Last Death as "a bracing memoir about growing up rich and glamorous with a savagely inappropriate mother." Now, Sonnenberg, with her unflinching eye and uncanny wisdom, has written a compulsively readable book about female friendship.  Read more...


 
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More About She Matters by Susanna Sonnenberg
 
 
 
Overview
From the bestselling "immensely gifted" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) author of Her Last Death comes a stunningly candid, compulsively readable, intensely provocative book about female friendships.

The New York Times called Susanna Sonnenberg "immensely gifted," and Vogue, "scrupulously unsentimental." Entertainment Weekly described Sonnenberg's Her Last Death as "a bracing memoir about growing up rich and glamorous with a savagely inappropriate mother." Now, Sonnenberg, with her unflinching eye and uncanny wisdom, has written a compulsively readable book about female friendship.

T he best friend who broke up with you. The older girl at school you worshipped. The beloved college friend who changed. The friend you slept with. The friend who betrayed you. The friend you betrayed. Companions in travel, in discovery, in motherhood, in grief; the mentor, the model, the rescuer, the guide, the little sister. These have been the women in Susanna Sonnenberg's life, friends tender, dominant, and crucial after her reckless mother gave her early lessons in womanhood.

Searing and superbly written, Sonnenberg's She Matters: A Life in Friendships illuminates the friendships that have influenced, nourished, inspired, and haunted her--and sometimes torn her apart. Each has its own lessons that Sonnenberg seeks to understand. Her method is investigative and ruminative; her result, fearlessly observed portraits of friendships that will inspire all readers to consider the complexities of their own relationships. This electric book is testimony to the emotional significance of the intense bonds between women, whether shattered, shaky, or unbreakable.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781439190586
  • ISBN-10: 1439190585
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publish Date: January 2013
  • Page Count: 255
  • Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.17 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women
Books > Family & Relationships > Friendship

 
BookPage Reviews

The friends who shape us

For fans of searingly honest memoirs, the publication of Susanna Sonnenberg’s She Matters is a cause for celebration. Sonnenberg’s previous book, Her Last Death, explored her tumultuous relationship with her provocative and ultimately destructive mother. This book turns to more nurturing, though occasionally heartbreaking, women in Sonnenberg’s life: her friends.

Comprised of 20 short essays, Sonnenberg’s book discusses all kinds of friendships—those that ended well, ended badly, ended mysteriously or (occasionally) continue today. Her Rolodex of friends includes a writer, a painter, a stay-at-home mom, a rabbi and a massage therapist. I can only imagine what her friends must have thought when they found themselves drawn by her pen; but for readers, the rewards are rich. The book’s honesty, eloquence, laugh-out-loud humor, finely wrought prose and magnificent scope will keep readers eagerly turning the pages.

The Sonnenberg who closes the book is not the same woman we meet on page one. Because the essays are arranged chronologically, readers learn how major life decisions—from embracing motherhood to moving to Montana, from becoming a writer to working in an abortion clinic—have shaped the way she chooses and fosters her friendships. We see how time and change impacted some of her oldest relationships. Given this benefit of space and reflection, Sonnenberg adds asides that deepen some of the early stories. “Had I paid attention,” she says of one friend, “she would have shown me a first real lesson in grief, its disorganizing confusions, its inescapable solitude.”

One of the many things to appreciate about this book is its refusal to bundle each friendship into a neat bow. Instead, these memorable and lovely essays gesture to the real-life intricacies of relationships. They celebrate the many pleasures of knowing and being known. For readers who welcome a complex perspective beautifully rendered in writing, this book is not to be missed.

 
BAM Customer Reviews