A heartbreaking, chilling, and courageous chronicle of one woman’s struggle to reclaim her life.



Stamps recounts decades of sexual and psychological abuse in this debut memoir.

According to the author, her father began sexually abusing her when she was about 6 years old, and the incidents continued for many years. She says that these early memories were repressed until she was well into middle age and had undergone extensive psychotherapy: “I had shut it out of my consciousness.” Stamps writes that her father’s psychological manipulations made it impossible for her leave home until 2004, when she was 43. She says that her father also violated her older sister, even confessing as much to the author one night: “my dad came in, knelt down by my bed and told me that my sister was going to tell my mother that he had been abusing her. He assured me that ‘our time’ was different.” Their mother, she says, did nothing to stop him. Stamps found an outlet for her internal rage by pursuing an interest in martial arts and achieving certification as a black belt in taekwondo, eventually opening her own studio. Oddly, her father encouraged this pursuit: “I learned how to protect myself, but he had instilled such fear that he knew that I would never raise a hand to him.” There is so much pain and anger in the pages of this memoir that it’s sometimes difficult to read. There is considerable repetition, which reflects Stamps’ persistent attempts to expel her demons, which she still struggles with. But her narrative is also an earnest call to abuse victims to seek help and not remain trapped behind veils of secrecy. Stamps’ vivid descriptions of her father’s behavior and her mother’s silent complicity are often stunning. Readers will cringe as she writes of being caught between feelings of love and hate, and of being paralyzed by fear: “Secrets keep us as victims, they limit our light, they make us live in fear and deceit.”

A heartbreaking, chilling, and courageous chronicle of one woman’s struggle to reclaim her life.

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72296-540-2

Page Count: 156

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2019

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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