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ONE IN SIX

A MAN’S GUIDE TO OVERCOMING CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

An empathetic and solution-oriented guide to dealing with the long-term trauma of childhood abuse.

Stagg presents a clinical and personal exploration of living through and dealing with childhood sexual trauma.

In his brief, powerful nonfiction debut, the author draws on his experience as a psychotherapist and chaplain for the emergency, intensive care, and burn units of a major hospital to discuss male childhood sexual abuse, various ways to recognize it, and methods for dealing with the mental and emotional fallout. He assures his readers that, despite all of that formidable experience, he’s never once met the survivor of a car crash or other trauma who has a clear memory of what happened. Stagg reports that sexual abuse of young boys happens in greater percentages than most people would expect: A survey by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children reported that most of this abuse is perpetrated by women, including, in roughly 36 percent of cases, by mothers (the author notes that this is the same rate at which young girls experience abuse from their fathers or stepfathers). And yet, the resources for men seem far less developed; indeed, society tends to ignore the problem. “There is no #MeToo movement for men,” Stagg writes. “We hear about institutional abuse of boys in the news, true, but many boys suffer far more serious abuse at home and never talk about it.” In calm, measured tones filled with compassion, the author seeks to give those men—many of whom have entirely suppressed the memories what happened to them—both the vocabulary to describe their experience and the tools to deal with it. He discusses the nature of flashbacks and memory triggers as well as the importance of “grounding” against these reactions, all explained against the backdrop of both the author’s own story and those representing many of his patients. Every survivor of childhood sexual abuse will profit from reading this sane and sympathetic book.

An empathetic and solution-oriented guide to dealing with the long-term trauma of childhood abuse.

Pub Date: June 21, 2023

ISBN: 9781039175532

Page Count: 210

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2023

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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CINEMA SPECULATION

A top-flight nonfiction debut from a unique artist.

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The acclaimed director displays his talents as a film critic.

Tarantino’s collection of essays about the important movies of his formative years is packed with everything needed for a powerful review: facts about the work, context about the creative decisions, and whether or not it was successful. The Oscar-winning director of classic films like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs offers plenty of attitude with his thoughts on movies ranging from Animal House to Bullitt to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Big Chill. Whether you agree with his assessments or not, he provides the original reporting and insights only a veteran director would notice, and his engaging style makes it impossible to leave an essay without learning something. The concepts he smashes together in two sentences about Taxi Driver would take a semester of film theory class to unpack. Taxi Driver isn’t a “paraphrased remake” of The Searchers like Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? is a paraphrased remake of Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby or De Palma’s Dressed To Kill is a paraphrased remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho. But it’s about as close as you can get to a paraphrased remake without actually being one. Robert De Niro’s taxi driving protagonist Travis Bickle is John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards. Like any good critic, Tarantino reveals bits of himself as he discusses the films that are important to him, recalling where he was when he first saw them and what the crowd was like. Perhaps not surprisingly, the author was raised by movie-loving parents who took him along to watch whatever they were watching, even if it included violent or sexual imagery. At the age of 8, he had seen the very adult MASH three times. Suddenly the dark humor of Kill Bill makes much more sense. With this collection, Tarantino offers well-researched love letters to his favorite movies of one of Hollywood’s most ambitious eras.

A top-flight nonfiction debut from a unique artist.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-311258-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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