I'M LOOKING THROUGH YOU: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir. By Jennifer Finney Boylan. Broadway. 288 pages. $23.95.
It may have been the fall-out from the "deceptive advertising" in James Frey's A Million Little Pieces that led Jennifer Boylan to preface her new memoir with an author's note explaining what is and isn't meant to be taken literally. There are pseudonyms, yes; composite characters, no. There are " ... occasional elements of invention, in keeping with the facts of my life, not in order to shamelessly bamboozle the reader but in order to fill in gaps in the narrative, or to dramatize scenes that I did not witness firsthand." Whatever that means. In a book filled with sexual and spiritual yearnings, supernatural spirits floating in the night and a boy who grows up to be a woman, one might be forgiven for wondering whether at least some of this is fiction. But in the end, it doesn't matter if liberties have been taken; Boylan is a writer with heart and soul, and this is a superior tale of growing up, of finding oneself, and of being, as the subtitle puts it, haunted.