I'm Looking Through You
Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767921756, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 21, 2008
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
From the bestselling author of She’s Not There comes another buoyant, unforgettable memoir—I’m Looking Through You is about growing up in a haunted house...and making peace with the ghosts that dwell in our hearts.
For Jennifer Boylan, creaking stairs, fleeting images in the mirror, and the remote whisper of human voices were everyday events in the Pennsylvania house in which she grew up in the 1970s. But these weren’t the only specters beneath the roof of the mansion known as the “Coffin House.” Jenny herself—born James—lived in a haunted body, and both her mysterious, diffident father and her wild, unpredictable sister would soon become ghosts to Jenny as well.
I’m Looking Through You is an engagingly candid investigation of what it means to be “haunted.” Looking back on the spirits who invaded her family home, Boylan launches a full investigation with the help of a group of earnest, if questionable, ghostbusters. Boylan also examines the ways we find connections between the people we once were and the people we become. With wit and eloquence, Boylan shows us how love, forgiveness, and humor help us find peace—with our ghosts, with our loved ones, and with the uncanny boundaries, real and imagined, between men and women.
JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN is Professor of English at Colby College and the author of the bestseller She’s Not There, as well as the acclaimed novels The Planets and Getting In. A three-time guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has also appeared on Larry King Live, Today, and 48 Hours, and has played herself on ABC’s All My Children. She lives in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.
- Consider the book's title and subtitle. How have specters and living beings served as windows for one another throughout Jenny's life? Growing up, what did she see as she looked at herself?
Praise for I’m Looking Through You
Jenny Boylan’s I’m Looking Through You ranks right up there with Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club and Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life as one of the finest literary memoirs of the last several decades. Like these, it’s a haunting revelation of the human heart, its terrible longings, its fears and joys, the secret recesses where we most truly dwell. How alike we all are, down this deep.
—Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls
Praise for She’s Not There
”There’s quite a story here. Ms. Boylan tells it with disarming humor and a sharp eye.…She’s Not There…brings irreverence and a merrily outrageous sense of humor to this potentially serious business.…Tender as well as funny.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Probably no book I’ve read in recent years has made me so question my basic assumptions about both the centrality and the permeability of gender, and made me recognize myself in a situation I’ve never known and have never faced.…The universality of the astonishingly uncommon: that’s the trick of She’s Not There. And with laughs, too. What a good book.”
—Anna Quindlen, from the introduction to the Book-of-the-Month Club edition
“Beautifully crafted, fearless, painfully honest, inspiring, and extremely witty. Jennifer Finney Boylan is an exquisite writer...one of the most remarkable, moving, and unforgettable memoirs in recent history.”
—Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors