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Table Of Contents

Part One
Fighting Shoes
Of My Kind
Where the Boys Go
Part Two
Black Magic
The Language of Strangers
Pale House
Desperate Creatures
Points of Entry
The Vertical Journey
The Burning I Can’t Remember
The First Daughter
Part Tree
Atlantic City
Stop-Times
Before Cocaine
Acknowledgments
P. 1
The Sky Isn't Visible from Here; Scenes from a Life

The Sky Isn't Visible from Here; Scenes from a Life

Ratings:

4.18

(11)
|Views: 13|Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
Felicia Sullivan's volatile, beautiful, deceitful, drug-addicted mother disappeared on the night Sullivan graduated from college, and has not been seen or heard from in the ten years since. Sullivan, who grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, now looks back on her childhood—lived among drug dealers, users, and substitute fathers. Sullivan became her mother's keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdosed, withstanding her narcissistic rages, succumbing to the abuse or indifference of so-called stepfathers, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she'd never met. Ashamed of her past, Sullivan invented a persona to show the world. Yet despite her Ivy League education and numerous accomplishments, she, like her mother, eventually succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse. She wrote The Sky Isn't Visible from Here, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, when she realized it was time to kill her own creation.
Felicia Sullivan's volatile, beautiful, deceitful, drug-addicted mother disappeared on the night Sullivan graduated from college, and has not been seen or heard from in the ten years since. Sullivan, who grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, now looks back on her childhood—lived among drug dealers, users, and substitute fathers. Sullivan became her mother's keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdosed, withstanding her narcissistic rages, succumbing to the abuse or indifference of so-called stepfathers, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she'd never met. Ashamed of her past, Sullivan invented a persona to show the world. Yet despite her Ivy League education and numerous accomplishments, she, like her mother, eventually succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse. She wrote The Sky Isn't Visible from Here, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, when she realized it was time to kill her own creation.

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Publish date: Feb 5, 2008
Added to Scribd: Jun 11, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781565126503
List Price: $23.95

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
A poignant memoir by writer Sullivan palpates the wounds of growing up with an unstable, cocaine-abusing mother. The young narrator's emotionally manipulative mother, Rosina, worked as a waitress at whatever Brooklyn diner hadn't fired her yet for stealing from the cash box in order to feed the increasingly destructive cocaine habit she formed while living with her Israeli-born boyfriend, Avram. Sullivan grew up cringing in the shadow of her crass, chain-smoking mother, who moved from boyfriend to boyfriend, from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to upscale Valley Stream, Long Island. Sullivan tried hard to distinguish herself in school, despite drinking heavily as a teenager to ease social pressure and shoplifting to strike back angrily at her mother. Later, she explains, she fell into similar patterns of self-anesthetizing with cocaine and alcohol while grasping after a lucrative career in finance in her early 20s. Sullivan's memoir cuts predictably back and forth in time and features some memorable types, such as needy early girlfriends whose mothers were as wacky as her own; junkie Aunt Marisol who died of an overdose; and her mother's battering boyfriend Eddie. Putting herself through Fordham, then Columbia's M.F.A. program hardly eased Sullivan's pain, but the act of writing purges her memory. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2007-10-22, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
A poignant memoir by writer Sullivan palpates the wounds of growing up with an unstable, cocaine-abusing mother. The young narrator's emotionally manipulative mother, Rosina, worked as a waitress at whatever Brooklyn diner hadn't fired her yet for stealing from the cash box in order to feed the increasingly destructive cocaine habit she formed while living with her Israeli-born boyfriend, Avram. Sullivan grew up cringing in the shadow of her crass, chain-smoking mother, who moved from boyfriend to boyfriend, from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to upscale Valley Stream, Long Island. Sullivan tried hard to distinguish herself in school, despite drinking heavily as a teenager to ease social pressure and shoplifting to strike back angrily at her mother. Later, she explains, she fell into similar patterns of self-anesthetizing with cocaine and alcohol while grasping after a lucrative career in finance in her early 20s. Sullivan's memoir cuts predictably back and forth in time and features some memorable types, such as needy early girlfriends whose mothers were as wacky as her own; junkie Aunt Marisol who died of an overdose; and her mother's battering boyfriend Eddie. Putting herself through Fordham, then Columbia's M.F.A. program hardly eased Sullivan's pain, but the act of writing purges her memory. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2007-10-22, Publishers Weekly
pamelabarrett reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Excellent, but emotionally tough to read. Surviving a tough chilhood is hard, thriving and blooming is a miracle and that is just what Felicia Sullivan has shown us in her memoir. A drug addict mother, multiple men trapesing through her life, abuse and neglect and yet she shows us humor and just plain gumption as she finds her way to adulthood.
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
A poignant memoir by writer Sullivan palpates the wounds of growing up with an unstable, cocaine-abusing mother. The young narrator's emotionally manipulative mother, Rosina, worked as a waitress at whatever Brooklyn diner hadn't fired her yet for stealing from the cash box in order to feed the increasingly destructive cocaine habit she formed while living with her Israeli-born boyfriend, Avram. Sullivan grew up cringing in the shadow of her crass, chain-smoking mother, who moved from boyfriend to boyfriend, from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to upscale Valley Stream, Long Island. Sullivan tried hard to distinguish herself in school, despite drinking heavily as a teenager to ease social pressure and shoplifting to strike back angrily at her mother. Later, she explains, she fell into similar patterns of self-anesthetizing with cocaine and alcohol while grasping after a lucrative career in finance in her early 20s. Sullivan's memoir cuts predictably back and forth in time and features some memorable types, such as needy early girlfriends whose mothers were as wacky as her own; junkie Aunt Marisol who died of an overdose; and her mother's battering boyfriend Eddie. Putting herself through Fordham, then Columbia's M.F.A. program hardly eased Sullivan's pain, but the act of writing purges her memory. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2007-10-22, Publishers Weekly
devourerofbooks reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Felicia Sullivan has had an extremely difficult and chaotic life. Her mother bounced around from man to man, becoming addicted to cocaine and doing all manner of things in order to get her next fix. As an adult, Felicia has not seen or spoken to her mother since the day before her college graduation, when she asked her mother not to attend. Although determined to be different from her mother, Felicia has herself become an alcoholic who is addicted to cocaine as well.If you’re going to read a hardship memoir, this is the one you should read. Sullivan has quite a gift with words and never gave off a ‘pity me’ vibe but shared her life in a straightforward manner. She provokes emotions in her reader simply by showing us the events of her interactions with her mother instead of trying to tell us how to feel.The story jumps around a good deal, although the chapter headings (if you are the sort who is good at paying attention to chapter headings, which I am not) do tell you when and where you are. I imagine that Sullivan constructed her memoir as she did to give the reader a sense of the chaos she has lived. I do think that that a more chronological ordering of Felicia’s life might have given a better sense of her growth that could have made her story more satisfying, but I do understand stylistically why she would have chosen to structure her story the way she did.For a hardship memoir this was remarkably light on the desire for pity, which made it that much more attractive. I really was captivated by Felicia’s story.
mochap_1 reviewed this
Gut wrenching memoir of a girl's growing up with a drug addict mother, abusive father figures, and the ultimate desire to become a genuine person. Very moving.
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