16 July 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Recovering My Voice:: A Memoir of Chaos, Spirituality, and Hope by Aruni Nan Futuronsky

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In high school we are taught by our English teachers to be descriptive. Instead of “The woman screamed.” we are taught to write “The young woman’s velvet dress rippled in the stiff wind. She drew in a ragged gasp and let loose a scream of anguish, of heartache, and of primal frustration.” There are a lot of times while reading Futuronsky’s book “Recovering My Voice” where I wished she had paid a little less attention in English class and gone for a more concise form of writing.

That said, however, “Recovering My Voice” is a very inspirational story. The pictures intermingled with the text serve to connect the reader with the events of the novel. The story leads the reader through the turmoil and emotion of the authors life. The authors desire to “fit in and be normal” mirrors the turmoil that many of us go through in our daily lives. The drugs, alcohol, and gender confusion prove just how far someone will go to attempt to fit in.

But the book is not only about the depths of the authors personal abyss, but also her climb to enlightenment. The contrast of the two and the journey from one to the other is what will draw the reader in.

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Product Description
Recovering My Voice follows the story of Aruni Nan Futuronsky from her earliest memories-on the beach with her family as a child-to her current position as a teacher and coach at the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. As a young girl, Aruni struggled with a non-traditional sexuality and an incapacitating stutter. The memoir begins in her childhood years, a bittersweet mix of tender memories-moments with her father in his grocery store, a magical morning at Girl Scout camp-and harder times, periods colored by isolation and feelings of helplessness. After Part I, we follow Aruni into her adolescence and early adulthood as she continues to suffer through painful gender confusion and a hollow heterosexual marriage. Finally, Aruni faces her truth and breaks free. At the end of Part II, she moves to New York City and aligns herself with a group of radical Jewish feminist lesbians.But the excitement of her new city life quickly spirals out of control, and in her twenties and thirties, Aruni struggles through drugs, alcohol, and a series of failed relationships. All the while, she continues to teach English at an inner city high school, mitigating her growing discontent by smoking pot during lunch breaks. At the end of Part III, Aruni has hit rock bottom. After coming to while banging her head on the floor without a clue how long she’s been there, Aruni decides to face her addiction and attends her first AA meeting-a choice that changes the course of her life.In Part IV, Aruni embraces her new alcohol- and drug-free existence. After taking a workshop at Kripalu in the Berkshires, she makes the decision to leave her city life behind and relocate to the ashram. There her spiritual journey takes off, full of soulful discoveries, growing pains, and a wonderful sense of self-discovery. In Part V, Aruni shifts from itinerant wanderer to guide and teacher, reflecting on the lessons she has learned and sharing with us the invaluable wisdom

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