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Title: You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession
Author: Piper Weiss
Number of Pages: (352 pages)
Publication date: Tuesday April 10, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
ASIN: B0713W46F3
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Book Review

"Unflinching, rich and revelatory."—MEGAN ABBOTT

“Gorgeous, moody, and evocative . . . half coming-of-age story and half exhaustively researched true crime.” VANITY FAIR

“Bracingly honest and extremely discomfiting, this book is like a riveting episode of Law & Order: SVU set at a Manhattan prep school with the U.S. Open as a backdrop.”—MARIE CLAIRE

A riveting blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir— The Stranger Beside Me meets Prep—that presents an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of girlhood within Manhattan’s exclusive private-school scene in the early 1990s, and a thoughtful meditation on adolescent obsession and the vulnerability of youth.

Piper Weiss was fourteen years old when her middle-aged tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, one of New York City’s most prestigious private instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. In the aftermath, authorities discovered that this well-known figure among the Upper East Side tennis crowd was actually a frightening child predator who had built a secret torture chamber—a "Cabin of Horrors"—in his secluded rental in the Adirondacks.

Before the shocking scandal broke, Piper had been thrilled to be one of "Gary’s Girls." "Grandpa Gary," as he was known among his students, was different from other adults—he treated Piper like a grown-up, taking her to dinners, engaging in long intimate conversations with her, and sending her special valentines. As reporters swarmed her private community in the wake of Wilensky’s death, Piper learned that her mentor was a predator with a sordid history of child stalking and sexual fetish. But why did she still feel protective of Gary, and why was she disappointed that he hadn’t chosen her?

Now, twenty years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and a dispassionate investigative reporter, hoping to understand and exorcise the childhood memories that haunt her to this day. Combining research, interviews, and personal records, You All Grow Up and Leave Me explores the psychological manipulation by child predators—their ability to charm their way into seemingly protected worlds—and the far-reaching effects their actions have on those who trust them most.

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2018: In 1993, a private tennis instructor in Manhattan named Gary Wilensky attempted to kidnap a young woman with whom he'd grown obsessed. The crime itself is horrifying, for all the reasons you'd expect. More disquieting, however, are the recollections of Piper Weiss, one of Wilensky's teenaged tennis students—though for reasons you'd notexpect. Weiss's chapters titled "Man" delve into Wilensky's charismatic relationships with his young players. Chapters titled "Girl" explore Weiss's life as she fights with her mom and stumbles through friendships, swinging between anxiety and rebelliousness. Many books have been written about coming of age in the rarefied air of Manhattan prep schools, but Weiss's honesty and willingness to plumb her own off-kilter and dark places make this memoir more viscerally real, less stereotyped. And perhaps only Weiss—always an outsider, emotionally vulnerable even in adulthood—could provide insight into Wilensky, who also never fit in. While this book won't set you jumping at shadows, You All Grow Up and Leave Me will make you shudder and wonder how many shadows linger inside the soul long after the tumult of adolescence has faded into the past. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

Product Description

"Unflinching, rich and revelatory."—MEGAN ABBOTT

“Gorgeous, moody, and evocative . . . half coming-of-age story and half exhaustively researched true crime.” VANITY FAIR

“Bracingly honest and extremely discomfiting, this book is like a riveting episode of Law & Order: SVU set at a Manhattan prep school with the U.S. Open as a backdrop.”—MARIE CLAIRE

A riveting blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir— The Stranger Beside Me meets Prep—that presents an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of girlhood within Manhattan’s exclusive private-school scene in the early 1990s, and a thoughtful meditation on adolescent obsession and the vulnerability of youth.

Piper Weiss was fourteen years old when her middle-aged tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, one of New York City’s most prestigious private instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. In the aftermath, authorities discovered that this well-known figure among the Upper East Side tennis crowd was actually a frightening child predator who had built a secret torture chamber—a "Cabin of Horrors"—in his secluded rental in the Adirondacks.

Before the shocking scandal broke, Piper had been thrilled to be one of "Gary’s Girls." "Grandpa Gary," as he was known among his students, was different from other adults—he treated Piper like a grown-up, taking her to dinners, engaging in long intimate conversations with her, and sending her special valentines. As reporters swarmed her private community in the wake of Wilensky’s death, Piper learned that her mentor was a predator with a sordid history of child stalking and sexual fetish. But why did she still feel protective of Gary, and why was she disappointed that he hadn’t chosen her?

Now, twenty years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and a dispassionate investigative reporter, hoping to understand and exorcise the childhood memories that haunt her to this day. Combining research, interviews, and personal records, You All Grow Up and Leave Me explores the psychological manipulation by child predators—their ability to charm their way into seemingly protected worlds—and the far-reaching effects their actions have on those who trust them most.

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