Vivian Gornick: The Odd Woman and the City

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Vivian Gornick's memoir The Odd Woman and the City (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) takes us on a tour of a life that is lived by walking, observing and talking. Gornick keeps her eyes open, and does she ever have a mouth on her! The transformation from her childhood in the Bronx to her maturity in Manhattan is a chronicle of changes in class, ethnicity, economy and culture, and Gornick is a first-rate truth-teller. In our conversation, even her definition of memoir writing is vitally concerned with honesty more than with memory or self-definition.