Guest Lesbrarian Jeanne Courtney review Riding Fury Home: A Memoir by Chana Wilson

It reads like the very best fiction, with vivid details that stimulate all the senses, heart pounding scenes that keep the pages turning, and comical anecdotes that are both thought-provoking and fun. But this story is true, and relentlessly truthful, told without a hint of sensationalism or sentimentality.

Personal experiences are deftly interspersed with Wilson’s take on the turbulent, expansive social times in which she came of age. She keeps the narrative intimate and specific, while paying tribute to the political movements that profoundly influenced her life and the life of her mother, who, prior to feminism and gay liberation, was terrorized and debilitated by psychiatric efforts to cure her of her love for women.

Wilson carries the reader directly into emotions that are hard to face, much less write about – shame, grief, rage, even the feeling of not being able to feel – and she comes out unequivocally on the side of hope. For me, that persistent hope was the gift at the center of this delightful read. I got to witness, through one woman’s story, how resilient we humans can be, and how as we grow, we ultimately seem to lean toward joy.

Review by Jeanne Courtney

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