Underwater Daughter: A Memoir of Survival and Healing


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 1.0 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Antonia Deignan is a mother of five children by choice, a dancer by calling, and a writer by necessity. She was born on the East Coast but spent most of her life in the Midwest, where she danced with multiple dance companies and raised her children. She opened her own dance studio and directed a pre-professional dance company before a bike accident wish-boned her path, and her identity. Her work has been published in print magazines and online. Now retired, she resides in a beloved island home in Martha's Vineyard, where she continues to be inspired and write. This is her first book.


"Deignan's writing style is courageously confessional and creatively descriptive . . . An elegantly written and harrowing remembrance of the long-lasting impact of childhood trauma."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Written in rich, insightful prose, Underwater Daughter showcases hard-won self knowledge and wisdom, while inviting readers to feel Deignan's wounds and joys."
--BookLife Reviews, Editor's Pick

"From these pieces emerge a partial sense of how Deignan learned to reconfigure the impact of her physical and psychic pains to achieve healing and forgiveness. Underwater Daughter is a poetic memoir about transformation and transcendence after abuse."
--Foreword Clarion Reviews

"In Underwater Daughter, Antonia Deignan delivers a heart-shattering memoir of painful truth and soulful healing. Word by word, her powerful story dances across the page with lyrical rhythm, all while diving deep into the mind warping currents of childhood sexual abuse. Readers follow along as she swims through the many decades of emotional waves before finally learning to untangle herself from the deep. By the end, we all heal alongside her as she resurfaces to claim the light. A must-read for anyone who has ever suffered abuse at the hands of someone they love--or loved someone who has."
--Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Perennials

"Underwater Daughter is an unflinchingly brave and nuanced memoir with lyrical prose so inventive, it will take your breath away. Deignan's book is a life-giving siren's song to memory, the body, family, survival, forgiveness, and ultimately, to love."
--Julie Barton, New York Times best-selling author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself

"Underwater Daughter is pure magic. From her first line to her last, Antonia Deignan takes us on a wild ride, from her perilous childhood through many hardships to the resilient woman she became. Her voice is utterly inventive. Written with stunning originality and passion, this is a book readers will long remember."
--Linda Schreyer, television/screenwriter and coauthor of Tears and Tequila

"Underwater Daughter is a poem, an anthem, a polished crystal, and one of the most profound books I've ever read. Antonia Deignan writes of family, dysfunction, and forgiveness beyond our human experience, revealing the exquisite beauty of life in all its pain and joy. Her voice is like the wind: fierce, restorative, and new."
--Debra Landwehr Engle, author of The Only Little Prayer You Need

"Like the author's dancing, this memoir seems to have some nameless tune in its core. Deignan gently paints a picture of even the most difficult moments in her life. She has decided to live her life lovingly, and by doing so gives us all a path forward."
--Harriet Ross, co-founder of Dance for Life and retired general manager of the Joffrey Ballet

"In Underwater Daughter, the author bravely faces her humanity and dives into excavating her inner and outer life. Written with a clever hand, the read is intimate, raw, and shares unfiltered vivid memories of abuse, survival, love, trauma, dance, relationships, healing, evolution, and so much more. This memoir is a meaty, meaningful journey that kept me captivated and wanting more."
--Sherry Zunker, Founder & Creator of BeMoved Dance

"Antonia Deignan's Underwater Daughter is a spellbinding memoir. At once a lyrical portrait of a young woman's coming of age and of a mother's coming into hersel