Leora Skolkin-Smith / Apr 22, 2021

Hystera Set in the turbulent s when Patty Hearst became Tanya the Revolutionary HYSTERA is a timeless story of madness yearning and identity After a fatal accident takes her father away Lillian Weill

  • Title: Hystera
  • Author: Leora Skolkin-Smith
  • ISBN: 9781936558186
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in the turbulent 1970s when Patty Hearst became Tanya the Revolutionary, HYSTERA is a timeless story of madness, yearning, and identity After a fatal accident takes her father away, Lillian Weill blames herself for the family tragedy Tripping through failed love affairs with men and doomed friendships, all Lilly wants is to be sheltered from reality She retreats froSet in the turbulent 1970s when Patty Hearst became Tanya the Revolutionary, HYSTERA is a timeless story of madness, yearning, and identity After a fatal accident takes her father away, Lillian Weill blames herself for the family tragedy Tripping through failed love affairs with men and doomed friendships, all Lilly wants is to be sheltered from reality She retreats from the outside world into a world of delusion and the private terrors of a New York City Psychiatric Hospital.How do we know who we really are How do we find our true selves under the heavy burden of family and our pasts In an unpredictable portrait of mental illness, HYSTERA penetrates to the pulsing heart of the questions.HYSTERA has won the 2012 Global E Books Awards and the 2012 USA Books Award in Fiction.Hystera was a finalist for the Indie Excellence Award and the International Book Award, 2012

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      Published :2020-09-09T15:03:00+00:00

    About "Leora Skolkin-Smith"

      • Leora Skolkin-Smith

        Leora Skolkin Smith s new novel HYSTERA is the winner of this year s Global E Books Award 2012.Hystera is published by Fiction Studio Books, Lou Aronica, Publisher.Ms Skolkin Smith was born in Manhattan in 1952, and spent her childhood between Pound Ridge, New York, and Israel, traveling with her family to her mother s birthplace in Jerusalem every three years She earned her BA and MFA and was awarded a teaching fellowship for graduate work, all at Sarah Lawrence.Her first published novel, EDGES was edited and published by the late Grace Paley for Ms Paley s own imprint at Glad Day books EDGES was nominated for the 2006 PEN Faulkner Award by Grace Paley Recently, her work has been chosen by Princeton University and the Department of the Humanities for their series Fertile Crescent Moon Stories from the Middle East Diaspora THE FRAGILE MISTRESS, a feature film based on EDGES, is currently in pre production, scheduled to begin shooting on location in Jerusalem, Jordan, and New York, produced by Triboro Pictures, directed by Michael Gunther thefragilemistressExcerpts from HYSTERA were first published by Persea Books, and recently appeared in The Hamilton Stone Review Recent publications include a piece from THE FRAGILE MISTRESS, which appeared in Guernica Magazine in 2010 She was recently a panelist, at MAINE READS, The Haitian Cultural International Book Festival, The Miami International Book Fair, The Virginia Festival of the Book, and The National Women s Association She is currently a contributing editor to readysteadybook and her critical essays have been published in The Washington Post, The National Book Critic s Circle s Critical Mass, Conversational Reading, the Quarterly Review, and other places.


    1. Oh my, Reader Friends. Coming up with a review for this one has been quite difficult. It took me two weeks to actually read the book (my apologies to the author and to Trish at TLC for my being late with the review). Our main character is Lilly, who is being admitted to a mental hospital as the book opens. She is suffering from delusions after a tragic accident involving her father and a souring relationship with a married man. The book is set in the 1970's and the abduction of Patty Hearst play [...]

    2. This book is gorgeous. Tender, wise, beautiful, shocking at times, and honest. You will fall in love with the narrator and her story. Brilliant.

    3. This is a book that follows a mentally disturbed patient from her trigger incident, into and through a mental hospital. Written in typical irrational, dyslexic thought patterns that ultimately lead to a functional state of mind, the author does an excellent job of illustrating the strange world of the mentally ill and their path to sanity.This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    4. i finished hystera and was really blown awayit was beautifully done expressed the feeling of being in a hospital very welland expressed the feelings of lilly wonderfullyit was a dramatic presentationof such a difficult time and i admired it and enjoyed it both

    5. This is at heart a story seeped in an unreliable narrator. If you tend to enjoy that, this book is for you. The narrator has committed herself to a psychiatric ward and it is extremely difficult as the reader to separate her delusions from reality- sometimes even impossible. This provides for a through provoking read. If you are fascinated by either mental illness or the 1970s, this book may also be for you.I was a psychology major in college so this held my attention. It was easy to become abso [...]

    6. There aren't enough stars in the ink blue sky to do justice to "Hystera" and her author Leora Skolkin-Smith. I've never known an author who was able to dig so deeply and lay bare the most intimate truths about being a woman and the truth about psychological torture - the torturing of one's own mind and soul by ones self, as well as the torture inflicted knowingly or unknowingly or both, by another. The author's words do this with no melodrama, no pointing of fingers at others, or any 'poor poor [...]

    7. From Carolyn Howard-Johnson:Carolyn Howard-Johnson Author DenSome might say all writers of fiction are a bit crazy. The statement may hold some truth if we note how much we like to follow the creative paths of fellow writers. I admit to being one of those.Leora Skolkin-Smith's "Hystera" does not disappoint on that count. But it offers so much more. Like most literary novels, it reads as if details are strongly influenced by real memories. Real as they feel, the narrator has committed herself to [...]

    8. From Jocosas's Bookshelf: jocosasbookshelf/hystera-bHYSTERA by Leora Skolkin-SmithI met Leora Skolkin-Smith at the Backspace Conference in May 2012. I was intrigued by her process. She said a lot of the time she devotes to writing is spent away from her writing materials. Her stories ferment or articulate themselves while she’s lying on the coach or walking. Ms. Skolkin-Smith said, “I never go to the page unless I have something to say.” This writing mantra is evident on page one of Hyster [...]

    9. Tough subject, sometimes a tough read (because of the subject matter). I had more sympathy for the mom than the author might have planned for, but I think that is one strength of the book - that the characters ring true and even when actions are worthy of criticism, the person behind the action cannot be dismissed. I enjoyed the references to the Patty Hearst kidnapping; I remember that story as it unfolded and the author has caught the way its progress permeated life.

    10. An astonishing work of fiction. Brave, bold and fiercely intelligent. And it's not just me who thinks so: Hystera won the 2012 Global E-Books Awards in Multicultural Fiction and the 2012 USA Book Award for Fiction (ebooks). Hystera was also a Finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and the 2012 Indie Excellence Award. Really, just stunningly good.Caroline Leavittcarolineleavitt

    11. Hysteria by Leora Skolkin-Smith is to be savored like an excellent wine. So moving and deep are her prose, that each phrase is thought-provoking. The author is clearly a master of words and although this book is slim, it is full of secrets about the human psyche. Hysteria would be a great gift for anyone who might be dealing with these same issues in their own network of family and friends.

    12. The book started weirdly and just kept getting weirder - I just couldn't get into it and it definitely wasn't for me. It jumps around a lot and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, which made it impossible to keep my attention and I wasn't able to finish it. I'm not sure who the right audience would be for this, but it wasn't my demographic.

    13. Disclaimer - Free Fridays ebook from B&NNot my usual sort of story. It was a hard slog through the first part of the book when the main character was deepest in her madness. A much easier read as she got better. Probably won't read more by this author if the are the same type of story.

    14. A powerful, brave novel. Right up there for my two cents. Exquisite, poetic writing, not at all flowery but, rather raw and genuine.

    15. Read my review here at my blog dedicated to female-authored literary fiction: readherlikeanopenbook.wordpres

    16. This is a hard book for me to review, since my feelings about it are full of "almosts" and comparisons to other books.I think it's a better book than my feelings for it indicate, and I didn't think it was at all a bad book. It just never quite clicked for me.I think one of the strengths of Hystera was strong, beautiful, literary language. I don't read for the language, I read for the story and the characters. The language put a barrier there for me. Some of this was probably deliberate, was a re [...]

    17. Rating: three and a half stars, it possibly deserves four, butThis is a difficult book to review for so many reasons. I thought it courageous - the subject matter is startling and so much of the writing feels like memoir that one can't help wondering if it's based on truth, knowing at the same time that Lilly, the main character, is experiencing a psychotic episode and that nothing is as it seems. I needed an anchor - someone to trust - but not a hope, and this in itself puts the reader in her s [...]

    18. Almost every description or review of this book takes pains to mention that it is set in the 1970's in New York, during the time of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. Thus it's likely that there are parallels or contrasts or something connecting Lilly's story with the era or with Patty Hearst - but I missed it. Even in retrospect, I can't connect the dots.With the exception of references to music contemporary to Lilly's narrative, I think the book could as easily be set in the 1980's or the current da [...]

    19. This review was written by Hannah Yakin While reading the first pages of Leora Skolkin's Hystera, I objected to some minor historical and geographical inaccuracies and promised myself to point these out in my review. However, very soon I came under the influence of Lilly's inner voice, as rendered so convincingly by the author who may or may not be Lilly's alter ego, and realized that accuracy bears no weight in this book. Indeed, it is all about feelings, fantasies, hate-love relationships with [...]

    20. This book made me feel many things. Sad, angry, confused, crazy. Nothing good there. Just like there's nothing good in this book.It seems like the author tried really REALLY hard to over think things but failed miserably at it. She put together sentences like "Arnold waved his hand 'no' at her angrily." I have so many questions. How do you wave your hand no? Is it by giving a middle finger? Is it by running your fingers across your neck with a violent slashing motion? And is angry hand waving mo [...]

    21. I received this book through a giveaway. Unfortunately, I feel like it was a waste of my time, and I feel bad saying this because I'm sure the author worked very hard on this book and is very proud of it. However, I thought I would relate to the story and it just ended up leaving me cloudy-headed and confused. The writing itself was sort of strange, and I didn't feel things were described the right way, to be understood. I could not relate to the characters, even the main character. They also w [...]

    22. Hystera by Leora Skolkin-Smith is the story of a Lily, a girl who in the mist of a psychotic breakdown takes you along on the ride. This story is set in New York in the 70's. A main side character in the story that I feel makes it interesting is the Patty Hearst story. I think that Lily, in a way, feels like Patty Hearst. The perception that a person is a certain way, until the true self comes out. Another interesting part of this story is her relationship with her parents. Her parents cause her [...]

    23. 5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE!, September 17, 2013 this review was listed on amazon by Jessica Blau, author of The Bread Summer By Jessica Anya Blau, author, THE WONDER BREAD S (Maryland) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Hystera (Paperback)Leora Skolkin-Smith writes with a captivating intensity. It is hard to turn away from this book. The story is illuminating and heartbreaking. I recommend this book to everyone-even those who have never dealt with mental illness (but, seriously, who hasn't [...]

    24. Compelling! The author creates a vivid tail of inner turmoil and strife inside a mental institution in the 1970s amidst the backdrop of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. A well-written, captivating novel which kept me rapt until the last page.

    25. I just could not get far enough into this to even judge it. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was not extensive descriptions of someone's hallucinations about her girly bits (this sounds very dismissive, but it's true).

    26. I had a hard time reading this. It was written from the perspective of someone entering a mental hospital, and starts during a mental breakdown. Really scattered and difficult to follow at first. It got better as it went on, I'm glad I finished it. But I'm glad it's over

    27. Fascinating beginning and an interesting protagonist at first (a possible hermaphrodite who's put into an insane asylum) but then midway just kind of falls apart. It becomes choppy and repetitive and too dull to continue reading.

    28. I would not recommend this book. I had a hard time finishing it even though it is a short book. The writing is pretentious and I still don't understand what was wrong with Lilly.

    29. I have read 23% of this book and I dislike it so much I am not going to continue. It is too sexual for my liking.

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