Lessons in Taxidermy: A Compendium of Safety and Danger

Lessons in Taxidermy A Compendium of Safety and Danger 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 b

  • Title: Lessons in Taxidermy: A Compendium of Safety and Danger
  • Author: Bee Lavender
  • ISBN: 9781888451795
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 TelegraphLavender holds nothing back as she recounts her lIt 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 TelegraphLavender 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 BookslutThere s a deep, almost painful beauty in her seemingly dispassionate languageBitch Magazine Feminist Response to Pop CultureYou 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 NYCBee 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.

    One thought on “Lessons in Taxidermy: A Compendium of Safety and Danger”

    1. Well, this is probably the most bleak, brutal book I've read this year; probably in the last couple years. It's like, 'here are all the ways my body has failed me,' and there are a lot of ways. Unflinchingly honest, etc. Reading this was what made me decide to shelve my books at home by publisher, because I doubt I'd've picked it up if it hadn't been published by Punk Planet, but I'm glad I did. I guess I don't have much to say about it. Brutal! Bleak! It's not the most inviting book- you don't [...]

    2. Bee Lavender has so far survived cancer, lupus, a ruinous car accident, two dangerous pregnancies, and growing up surrounded by poverty and violence. This well-written memoir of her medical history is horrifying to read. I’m not sure any living person has survived as much as Lavender, so if she can write and parent and live through all this, there is hope for anyone. If I ever get ill or injured, I will give this a re-read, but as a currently very, very lucky mostly healthy person, it was just [...]

    3. I suspect that Bee Lavender's stoic narration of her life of maladies is intended to portray astonishing bravery, but it felt so hollow and false that I found myself uncomfortably unsympathetic. It seems as though she simply clued into the cultural tendency to admire those who endure pain quietly, and I almost wouldn't mind it if it weren't for the fact that she seems so utterly convinced by her own ruse. Despite this, Lavender has endured the most shocking array of illnesses and accidents and i [...]

    4. this book was too hard for me to finish. so maybe I shouldn't be allowed to judge it.I know the point of it (at least for me) was to read about all the incredible things one person can withstand when it comes to health issues, and be in awe, and put my own health miseries in perspective. but really, could I become more depressed any other way? I don't think so. I can't stand to pick it up again, though I plugged through the horrors for quite awhile. it is too awesomely descriptive.

    5. i remember that i liked this book; i just don't remember a lot of details. bee lavender is/was involved with "hip mama," the zine-thing that became the go-to magazine for unaverage mothers (& mothers who want to imagine that they're not just boring soccer moms). she had a child when she was pretty young, & this book is a kind of memoir that addresses her pregnancy & young mothering years, but also delves way back into her unconventional childhood. like i said, i can't remember detail [...]

    6. Bee Lavender writes about life, growing up in the outskirts of society in a place at once tender and violent, and her body being riddled by cancer after cancer, illness after illness, tragedy after tragedy, from the ripe age of twelve.Her life is a steady succession of shocks, and though there is ample reason to feel pity for her, a teen mother, a body that will never be cancer-free, more surgeries and procedures than I can even fathom, it is certainly not her aim. Quite to the contrary, she is [...]

    7. This is a memoir, based on a true story. I had to keep reminding myself because the piles of painful and difficult stuff that Bee Lavender survives in these pages is astounding. Bee Lavender is one of the central figures in the Hip Mama canon. This book mentions her kids, and tells stories of her pregnancies, but the central focus is her own stitched together survival. Starting with a tough family, low class consciousness, and a cancer diagnosis starting at 12, Bee never gives the reader a breat [...]

    8. bee lavender has lived through more sickness than i thought i'd have the stomach to even read about. it seems like every fucked up illness and ill-luck has befallen this woman: cancer, car accident, complications and more complications etc. i read this book when i was quite sick, unknowingly embarking on a long stretch of nooneknowswhatitisitis. though often the reverse would hold true, reading bee lavender's writing about sickness actually made me feel better: it's empowering, if dark and harsh [...]

    9. Jag snubblade över boken när jag skulle köpa en annan bok. Tänkte ok den är säkert läsvärd. Och så rätt jag hade, den är kanon. Den är sorglig, upprörande, tragisk och full av hopp.Bee skriver med ett stort hjärta, en stor värme och en hel del självironi.Jag trodde boken skulle vara lite av "snyft_vad_synd_det_är_om_mig" men det är den inte, det är inte en vanlig "usch vilken barndom jag hade"-bok. Det är en naken sanning om Bee’s barndom, sjukdom och vägen framåt genom a [...]

    10. Devestating account of the author's childhood into young adulthood spent mostly in hospitals and undergoing procedures in attempts to cure and understand the origin of her illnesses. Lavender's rather matter-of-fact,even detached, tone adds power to the account- and ably demonstates her defense mechanism learned through years of painful medical tests and procedures. Lavender's account avoids a big, triumphal ending which a lesser author might have chosen, and instead her ending is the quieter tr [...]

    11. An amazing memoir with tons of emotion but very little sentimentality. The minor things Bee has to survive would kill most people. The major things she survives, well, they would also kill most people. I got this and finished it in like three days. I just couldn't put it down. Then when I finished it, I immediately gave it to my sister-in-law and made her promise that she would read it immediately too.

    12. We all learn how to fight , wither it's because if an illness or whateverm life is not easy and each one of us have his own story but I think Bee have them all lol. she faced the unthinkable and she always finds a way to get up on her feet angain, she's a fighter who learned how to be strong and keep goin. some memories might hold us back but we have to let go of the past to have a future and that what this book taught me :)

    13. This book was powerful and moving, depressing and yet hopeful. I kept having to pause every time I read the detailed descriptions of Bee Lavender's medical issues and treatments, and I was overwhelmed by all of the things she has survived, since much smaller things make me feel like I can't keep going. Still, at the end of the book, all I could feel was hope and strength, that there is so much worth living for. Her writing is beautiful, and hey, it's set in the Pacific Northwest.

    14. Amazing. I am so impressed by what she went through and her ability to walk the reader through it so honestly. Was she always so self-aware or did she come to that only later? Ordinarily, I would shy away from reading the memoir of anyone who was so sick for so long - I am a little bit of a self-diagnosed hypochondriac - but this book didn't make me paranoid; it made me feel compassionate and thankful.

    15. A clever memoir set in the Pacific Northwest. I was first interested in the book because I am a fan of Punk Plane Books as well as the fact that Bee has a past living in the same area I grew up in. Her illnesses, surgeries, and triumphs are inspirational and her strong will is admirable. She also has a literary blog: foment.

    16. This is a fantastic book. I liked her writing style and appreciated the detail. I think it is a great book for anyone who has faced illness or knows someone with a lot of illnesses. It is uplifting that she continued to live her life and did not let these obstacles take over her identity.'

    17. When I started this book I did not think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did, but the author's compelling style drew me in. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a good memoir and who have a high tolerance for stories of medical ordeals.

    18. This book punches you in the gut right from the beginning and never stops. You almost can't believe that all these things happened to one kid in the span of her teen years (mostly). Don't read this if you need a pick me up- it's a raw look at disease, hospitals, and pain, both mental and physical.

    19. I really loved the author's voice, bleak as it was, and appreciate her ongoing efforts to make a life for herself that acknowledges her physiological limitations without allowing them to victimize her. Though brutal at times, the narrative remains real and accessible.

    20. This is a very matter-of-fact book about life and death. There is very little sentimentality here. I found her outlook refreshing if not sometimes startling. Bee's experiences with her diseases and the medical profession were eye opening.

    21. a crazy book - amazing to read what one body can go thru- and what a shocker to read this book and then see the picture of the author , not what i expected. I did have a hard time following this book and at times didn't like her voice, but am glad I read this!

    22. This book is amazing and totally changed my mental picture of the memoir genre. At times joyful, funny, poignant, and wrenchingly sad, the writing is tight and picturesque at the same time. An amazing writer for our times. I hope to read more of her work.

    23. Wow, this is the memoir about getting cancer at 12 and becoming pregnant at 18 and surviving. Survival is key and somehow amidst all the craziness, Bee lives and lives. A great read.

    24. This was an interesting memoir. I've never heard of a child going through so many unrelated illness (cancer cluster, anyone??) and it was amazing to hear how she got through it all.

    25. holy shit, this book. it's fitting that it was published by Punk Planet Books, because this woman is the punkest. holy shit.

    26. I thought it was interesting but not a deep as I thought it would be. She skates across the surface quite a lot and, just when she starts to go deeper, moves away to something else.

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