In this extraordinary memoir, Ariel Leve takes us through the looking glass intothe life of an only child growing up under siege. The unconventional world Ariel inhabited was dominated by her mother, a gifted but unstable poet without boundaries or self-restraint. Mother and daughter lived in a penthouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side, which was the setting for raucous parties that attracted New York's cultural and intellectual elite: Gloria Steinem, Norman Mailer, and Andy Warhol, to name a few. For all its glamour, this was a universe that was neither predictable nor safe. With her beloved father living in Southeast Asia and the death of a nurturing caretaker, young Ariel was left to navigate an emotionally perilous landscape alone. It took four decades before she was able to make sense of the aftershocks of childhood, which eventually necessitated a voyage in secret to the other side of the world. Unflinchingly, and with ferocious candor, Leve trains her writer's eye on the harrowing circumstances of her life with (and without) her mother, and transforms the chaos into art. In stripped down, elegant prose, Leve paints an indelible portrait of her upbringing and the long fight to tunnel her way out of the darkness. The drama of her journey proves to be as exhilarating as it is painful and, ultimately, emancipating. An Abbreviated Life heralds the arrival of a fearless new voice in the literary firmament.
An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir
Non Fiction /