Lessons in Taxidermy
A Compendium of Safety and Danger
by Bee Lavender
About The Book
It is one of the many charms of this book that Lavender is not only aware of the conventions of such autobiographies but that she consciously rejects them. Her powerful, elegant memoir should be read by everyone…. as an example of what truly well-written and unflinching self-examination can be like.
-The Sunday Telegraph
Lavender… holds nothing back as she recounts her life spent in and out of hospitals and her subsequent dissociation from her own body and emotions… witnessing her strength and sheer determination to live makes this striking book completely engrossing.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Lavender’s memoir is exquisite, precise and deeply affecting from beginning to end. -Bookslut
There’s a deep, almost painful beauty in her seemingly dispassionate language…
Bitch Magazine: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
You know how sometimes you read a book that’s so powerful, you find you keep flipping to the back to look at the author’s photo? Lessons in Taxidermy has that effect. The memoir is so openhearted and deft and laden with trauma that you’ll want to keep checking that the writer really made it through alive. You’ll also want to get a good long glimpse at the individual behind this steely, graceful voice…. Lavender has the gift of articulating tragedies… with simple, unfettered language that doesn’t ask for sympathy.
-Time Out NYC
Bee Lavender is a fantastic writer. Her work is deep and personal, and I don’t think there are any places she’s scared to go. -Michelle Tea, author of The Chelsea Whistle
Diagnosed with cancer at age twelve and perilously pregnant at eighteen, surviving surgeries and violent accidents: sometimes you can’t believe Bee Lavender is still alive; sometimes you think nothing could kill her. Lessons in Taxidermy is Lavender’s fierce and expressive search for truth and an elusive sense of safety. This autobiographical tale is stark and resolved, but strangely euphoric, tying together moments and memories into a frantic, delicate, and often transcendently funny account of anguish and confusion, pain and poverty, isolation and illusion. While staying conscious of the particulars of her circumstances, Lavender frames her life in the context of history, traveling, landscape, and freak show culture. Lessons in Taxidermy is apocryphal, troubling, cathartic, and important.
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