By Megan Harlan
August 22, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis

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Anyone expecting a ”TV-movie-of-the-week tinge” (Rhett’s own apprehensive words) to these 22 essays about personal crises will find that comparisons to poetry are more apt. Because no matter the tragedy in Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis, edited by Kathryn Rhett — Rick Moody’s jagged mosaic of memories about his alcoholic sister who died young; Lauren Slater’s nightmarish account of the obsessive-compulsive disorder that first crippled her at 25 — nearly all the pieces are united by bracing candor and beautifully distilled prose. Whether about a one-night stand that ends a marriage or withstanding deadly illness, these thoughtful memoirs invoke, ultimately, the powers of catharsis. A-

Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis

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