If a little child is ready to pay a heavy price only so that she will be loved in return, what would you say to that?
Sadly, it’s not even hypothetical. This is the memoir ‘Tiger Tiger’ written by Margaux Fragoso who was seven years old when she met her lover, Peter Curran, a fifty one year old man. The word ‘lover’ used by the author sends shockwaves across as he is no lover but a ruthless paedophile. This monstrous ‘lover’ knew how to play the game till the end of his time when he committed suicide by jumping off the cliff at the age of sixty six (which is also how she begins the book).
Set against the backdrop of a small town in New Jersey, where life at home was far from pleasant with a mentally ill mother and a domineering father, Margaux found solace in Peter. He made her feel beautiful, he made her feel wanted and the most horrible of all, he made her feel that ‘us’ – him and her was just right. Peter and his house conjured a perfect world in Margaux’s mind with his exotic pets and vibrant coloured walls. Her journey through denial, disgust, guilt and shame is painfully candid.
This is the author’s first book and part of her M.A. programme for Creative Writing. Margaux Fragoso creates visual images with her words and sometimes the sentences just represent a string of thoughts. These strings of thoughts are like mad bulls, unleashed holding nothing back. Her explicitness sometimes causes you to cringe but also makes you question the intention behind it. Her writing can touch a spot where you fumble over whether you should go on or shut it and choose something light hearted instead.
When someone goes through too much pain a void grows inside desensitizing oneself to everything around them and allowing one’s thoughts to flow freely without guilt. The authors love for storytelling (as a child) is the one thing that remains constant throughout the story and in a way is seen to help her cope with the situation. The word ‘lover’ is what can entice one to this book. What does the author mean by the word ‘lover’? It is disturbing to read parts where the author was swept away by the paedophile’s love which was a filthy disguise for favours in return. The line – “no pressure sweetheart, only if you want to” speaks volumes and rings in one’s ears. However, was she right in being explicit with her experience? For how long can one shut one’s eyes and stop themselves from believing that such things actually happen? As a whole experience, the book makes one think and may be realize that sometimes, sadly, one can lose oneself in their own abyss of darkness. Peter had left a suicide note wherein he requested Margaux to write about them which was his last imposing desire and ironically in fulfilling that, the book has defined the ‘beginning of an end’ of their world.