Sarah Saffian

"A multilayered memoir that probes profound questions of identity...Saffian explores this complicated material in beautifully nuanced prose to create a book that grows richer page by page...she selects language with finesse, creating images that deepen the story. Her book's strong rhythm and pacing, particularly its provocative chapter endings, keep the reader engaged...Saffian succeeds in making the reader care about her journey."
        —The New York Times Book Review             read more > >

"A poetically plain-spoken and deeply felt account...With her sensitive writing...and even pitch, Saffian brings us close to her experience."
        —Mirabella                                                 read more > >

"An unsparingly honest memoir, with intriguing insights into the nature of family, of loyalty, of inheritance, of what we're born with and what we're given along the way by those who love us most."
        —Francine Prose, Elle

"The author's poetic and original writing is a joy to read...spellbinding...with dignity and grace...ITHAKA is ultimately a triumph because it uses the unique thread of adoption to weave a tale of much broader significance."
        —USA Today

"There is love and laughter in Sarah Saffian's ITHAKA, which almost overwhelms the heart of man and woman. When I finished it, I wiped the furtive tear, sighed, smiled, and was glad to have read it."
        —Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming

"This fascinating story of Sarah Saffian's psychic journey to a home she never knew tells much about the complexities of adoption. Even those who've thought deeply about the issue are likely to be surprised and engrossed by her tale."
        —Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

"ITHAKA never loses momentum. Compelling, honest and forthright, it is a beautifully written and spellbinding book. I couldn't put it down."
        —Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

"This deft and eloquent exploration of the dilemmas faced by an adoptee who is found by her birth parents will illuminate for all of us the desire to know ourselves and own our intimacies. A moving personal memoir, layered and revealing."
        —Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way and Composing a Life

"A gripping true story of a daughter's quest for the meaning of family and belonging."
        —Betty Jean Lifton, author of Journey of the Adopted Self

"Saffian's thoughtful inquiry reveals new ways of looking at the ties that bind us to each other and finally make us who we are. ITHAKA is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand better the true foundation of family, which is love."
        —Fenton Johnson, author of Geography of the Heart

"In this moving, deeply thoughtful memoir, Saffian explores with rare insight the complex fissures of identity that result when childhood, like nationality, becomes a hyphenated phenomenon."
        —Le Anne Schreiber, author of Midstream and Light Years

"The theme of 'being found' when one wasn't particularly lost is the thread that holds ITHAKA together...Admirably free of self-pity, this is a thoughtful investigation into what makes a family."
       —Publishers Weekly

"A vividly realized memoir."
        —Kirkus Reviews

"Not sugar-coated by any definition...Saffian's command of the written word is impressive and her story is engrossing."

"Reads like a novel...Saffian tracks with great sensitivity and uncompromising vision the ebbs and flows of her emotions...charting the sea changes meticulously and with great grace...she is most eloquent when she confides what is most complicated to understand, the enormous burden of having two families...her search for identity is uniquely portrayed, and she gives us a powerful memoir because it transcends her unique story...essentially illustrating everyone's search in life for oneself."
        —Chicago Tribune

"Saffian's questioning is the most penetrating kind: What counts more: How we have lived or how our living began?...By the end of ITHAKA...Saffian's attention to emotional complexities has won us over...This book's beauty is in the mysteries it opens absorbing, sober investigation."
        —San Francisco Chronicle

"With a voice as direct and frank as her piercing, intense gaze from the cover of the book, Saffian invites us to experience the tumultuous world of an adoptee in her unusual situation...Frequent excerpts from her letters and diaries give her story a sense of immediacy, casting the reader into the double role of voyeur and confidante...her words grab your attention on page one and hold you spellbound and captivated until the end...Saffian is a highly skilled and deeply reflective writer who uses intimately descriptive detail and a style that is candid, conversational and compelling."
        —San Antonio Express-News

"Sometimes painful but always courageously honest...Saffian's story provides touching insight to those of us who, at one time or another, have grappled with who we are."
        —Tampa Tribune

"This eloquent, deft, intelligent memoir asks more questions about family, love and loyalty than it answers–questions that haunt long after you've turned the last page."

"...magnificent...a courageous chronicle of a woman who fights every millimetre of the way for maturity, and triumphs."
        —Globe and Mail (Canada)

"ITHAKA has a lot going for it, especially the power of a personal story, well told, that illuminates complex issues...I savoured the book...At this crossroads between closed and open adoption, with scores of people tracking down relatives, we can expect many more accounts. May they be as good as this one."
        —Toronto Star (Canada)

"Reading a memoir that has such an underlying purpose is refreshing...Saffian is a graceful and candid writer...The satisfaction of being on the same wavelength as the author derives from her uncompromising candor...a profound dissection of family and the elements of identity."
        —Time Out N.Y.

"gracefully and affectingly told"
        —Entertainment Weekly

"Saffian raises tricky, fascinating questions–what exactly is the significance of giving birth to a child that you don't raise? What is genetic and what is learned? What is a family? What is a 'self'?"

"A fascinating memoir...With uncommon sensitivity toward both sets of parents, the author offers a wondrously honest account of gaining a second family."

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