What Lisa Knew: Truth and Lies of the Steinberg Case

 
9780747508267: What Lisa Knew: Truth and Lies of the Steinberg Case

"She was found in darkness - the bruised, comatose first-grader who would never wake up to tell anyone which of the two adults in the small, filthy Greenwich Village apartment had beaten her." On January 30 1989, Joel Steinberg was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter after a twelve-week, nationally televised trial in which his former lover, Hedda Nussbaum, was the star prosecution witness. In this book, Joyce Johnson examines the mysteries still surrounding Lisa Steinberg's death and also addresses the painful question of how she lived, in an account of what is known about her last days and hours, when no one acted to save her.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In 1989, Manhattan attorney Joel Steinberg was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his six-year-old illegally adopted daughter, Lisa; his live-in lover, Hedda Nussbaum, was granted immunity for testifying against him. Although the book covers ground already well trod by the media, Johnson's ( Minor Characters ) recap of the sordid domestic tragedy makes absorbing if depressing reading. She builds a persuasive case for Nussbaum's jealousy of Lisa and culpability in her death, posits that Steinberg and Nussbaum's relationship was sadomasochistic and mutually satisfying; that Lisa may have been sexually abused; and that Nussbaum's absolution as a battered woman is a setback for the feminist movement. The book bogs down with legal jargon and is disrupted by occasional soapboxing (on Nussbaum's first beating from her lover: "Rather than fearing Joel Steinberg, she only worshiped him more devoutly. But perhaps Hedda was also worshipping herself. Was she not God's handmaiden, the martyr/heroine of the Hedda Nussbaum drama?") Johnson's indictment of New York's adoption and child welfare services is convincing, but aspersions cast on Sylvia Haron, Lisa's teacher, and on Nicole Smiegel, the birth mother of Lisa's brother, Mitchell, also adopted, are questionable. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Coming from esteemed novelist Johnson-- In the Night Cafe ( LJ 3/1/89) and National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Minor Characters ( LJ 1/15/83)--this rather routine exploration of the Lisa Steinberg case is a disappointment. Basically, Johnson recounts what was covered in the newspapers, even quoting Maury Terry, who also is working on a book on the subject, now scheduled to be published this August. Certainly, Johnson has the problem that the "truths and lies" will never really be known--Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum had an active (and drug-induced) fantasy life--and she can only conclude that "what Lisa knew" is the only truth. But of course the child can't tell us, and readers are left in that black despair of another heartbreaking yet almost futile retelling of this tragic story. Perhaps Susan Brownmiller had the better idea of fictionalizing and expanding on the known facts as she did in her novel Waverly Place ( LJ 2/15/89). BOMC alternate selection; both this and Terry's book were previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/89. --Judy Quinn, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Joyce Johnson
Editore: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1991)
ISBN 10: 0747508267 ISBN 13: 9780747508267
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Descrizione libro Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0747508267

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