Seeking Rapture: A Memoir

By Kathryn Harrison

From the bestselling author of ‘The Binding Chair’, this dazzling follow-up to her memoir ‘the Kiss’ explores the bonds of motherhood between four generations.

When Kathryn Harrison was a little girl, her young mother left her in the care of her British grandmother who was raised in Shanghai. To Kathryn, her mother’s mother seemed an almost unimaginably powerful figure: an imperious arbiter of good taste and a master storyteller, who, when coaxed, might reveal stories of a magic and vanished world. She jilted an array of suitable men before concluding that she was not quite modern enough to have a baby without a husband. At the age of 43 she finally married, and the fruit of this union, Harrison’s mother, was no more interested than she in being bound by convention. An occasional witness to her daughter’s growth to adulthood, she would appear sporadically in film-star clothes and urge unwanted glamour on her shy child. Harrison grew up a spectator of the remarkable, striving to comprehend these women and yet find her own way to live.

In this witty, touching memoir, Harrison writes of the ties that bind mothers to their children – and the forces that can drive them apart. She ponders the legacy of storytelling she inherited from her grandmother, and peers into the deep well of family history from which she draws inspiration for her novels. Reconsidering her past as she watches her own children grow, she recalls the thrilling risk of shoplifting; the longing for perfection that resulted in a fierce eating disorder; the thunderous fights that showed how impossible and how necessary it was to leave home. ‘Seeking Rapture’ conveys the aching tenderness Harrison feels toward her children, and her awe of their imaginary worlds that no adult can enter. This powerfully evocative book will awaken readers to sift through their own sense of motherhood, loss and regeneration. In prose that sings, ‘Seeking Rapture’ chronicles the unforgettable episodes that form the drama of domestic life.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 30 Jan 2014
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-744107-5
Kathryn Harrison is the author of the novels ‘The Binding Chair’, ‘Exposure’ and ‘A Thousand Orange Trees’ as well as two volumes of memoirs, ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Seeking Raptre’, all available from Fourth Estate. She lives in New York with her husband, the novelist Colin Harrison, and their children.

”'The daily minutiae of life with small children is evoked with unerring accuracy and a keen eye for telling detail.” - Telegraph

'Harrison's prose is meticulously lyrical.' Guardian -

'Like a siren leading readers on to perilous rocks once more, Kathryn Harrison is back.' Observer -