Beacon Press: The Tricky Part
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The Tricky Part

One Boy's Fall from Trespass into Grace

Author: Martin Moran

“This account of a Roman Catholic boyhood interrupted—and derailed—retains a luminous, novelistic complexity that sets it apart from similar tales of stolen childhoods.” (Ben Brantley, New York Times)

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he’d met at a Catholic boys’ camp. Almost thirty years later, at the age of forty-two, he set out to find and face his abuser.

The Tricky Part tells the story of this relationship and its complex effect on the man Moran became. He grew up in an exemplary Irish Catholic family-his great aunt was a cloistered nun; his father, a newspaper reporter. They might have lived in the Denver neighborhood of Virginia Vale, but they belonged to Christ the King, the church and school up the hill. And the lessons Martin absorbed, as a good Catholic boy, were filled with the fraught mysteries of the spirit and the flesh.

Into that world came Bob-a Vietnam vet carving a ranch-camp out of the mountain wilderness, showing the boys under his care how to milk cows, mend barbed wire fence, and raft rivers. He drove a six-wheeled International Harvester truck; he could read the stars like a map. He also noticed a young boy who seemed a little unsure of himself, and he introduced that boy to the secret at the center of bodies.

Told with startling candor and disarming humor, The Tricky Part carries us to the heart of a paradox-that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.
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The Tricky Part is a story of sexual abuse and its seemingly endless half life-remarkable, then, that this isn’t a book about blame, but forgiveness.” -Kathryn Harrison, author of The Kiss


Review by: Tony Kushner, Author of Angels in America - June 15, 2005
"A beautiful book. Martin Moran is a graceful, witty, perceptive writer, remarkably brave, free of self-pity - his spirit, manifest on every page, is discerning and generous to the point of radiance. He's a scrupulous and precise rememberer and explorer, and because he refuses simplification for the sake of judgment and yet insists on the necessity of rendering judgment, The Tricky Part is fully human, unsettling and wise."
Review by: Eve Ensler, Author of The Vagina Monologues - June 15, 2005
"A tender, searingly honest, and heartbreaking account of the legacy of sexual violation. Moran bravely unveils the tricky part: the paradoxical worlds of longing and shame, the erotic and the reviled, the profane and the sacred all living in one act, one man, one life. Gorgeously written, the book is a divine literary and spiritual exorcism."
Review by: Terrence McNally, Tony Award winning author of Frankie and Johnny ... - June 15, 2005
"Martin Moran has written a story about difficult, painful and deeply personal events in his life with uncommon generosity and decency. The story is shocking, even brutal, but I felt cleansed at its end. He has found compassion where I would have thought there was none. When art does that, it enriches us, and his book is art."
Review by: Nick Flynn, Author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City - June 15, 2005
"Martin Moran has written an account of a childhood at once conventional and nearly unfathomable. A deep, tempered spirit shines through every page, by turns understated and dazzling, wildly comic and gut wrenching."
Review by: Michael Cunningham, Author of The Hours - June 15, 2005
"Martin Moran not only writes unflinchingly about the sexual abuse of a child, he expands it into a meditation on suffering, despair, forgiveness, redemption, and the mysterious workings of grace. He elevates the confessional to the level of art."
Review by: Kathryn Harrison, Author of The Kiss - June 15, 2005
"The Tricky Part is a story of sexual abuse and its seemingly endless half life-remarkable, then, that this isn't a book about blame, but forgiveness."

"Those of us, and we are legion, whose innocence has not been lost so much as taken, have a choice. We can remain children and insist on a black and white vision of perpetrators and victims, or, like Martin Moran, we can grow up. We can arrive at the understanding that love is only as pure, or as whole, or as beautiful, as the always imperfect beings who offer and demand it."
Review by: Richard McCann, Author of Mother of Sorrows - January 1, 2005
"The Tricky Part is that rare, triumphant thing-a book so bravely remembered and so fully imagined as to be capable of rendering a life in all of its moral complexity."
Review by: Doug Wright, Author of Quills - January 1, 2005
"In an age where reality television exploits intimacy, and tell-all autobiographies have become endemic, Martin Moran's book restores faith in the literary memoir. In documenting his troubling childhood relationship with a much older man, he eschews ready sensationalism and-instead-bravely articulates the complexities that color even the most taboo relationships. And he accomplishes it all with a prose style that is rich, immediate and constantly surprising. His is a book both haunting and profound."

The Tricky Part

ISBN: 978-080707262-2
Publication Date: 6/15/2005
Pages: 296
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $23.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: Not currently available.
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