American Lives: A Reader (American Lives)

American Lives: A Reader (American Lives)

By: Alicia Christensen (editor), Tobias Wolff (contributor)Paperback

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Memoirs are as varied as human emotion and experience, and those published in the distinguished American Lives Series run the gamut. Excerpted from this series (called "splendid" by Newsweek) and collected here for the first time, these dispatches from American lives take us from China during the Cultural Revolution to the streets of New York in the sixties to a cabin in the backwoods of Idaho. In prose as diverse as the stories they tell, writers such as Floyd Skloot, Ted Kooser, Peggy Shumaker, and Lee Martin, among many others, open windows to their own ordinary and extraordinary experiences. John Skoyles tells how, for his Uncle Fred, a particular "Hard Luck Suit" imparted misfortune. Brenda Serotte describes a Turkish grandmother who made her living reading palms, interpreting cups, and prescribing poultices for the community. In "Son of Mr. Green Jeans," Dinty W. Moore views fatherhood through the lens of pop culture. Janet Sternburg's Phantom Limb muses on the dilemmas of a child caring for a parent. Whether evoking moments of death or disease, in family or marriage, history, politics, religion, or culture, these glimpses into singular American lives come together in a richly textured, colorful patchwork quilt of American life.

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About Author

Alicia Christensen is the Bison Books editor at the University of Nebraska Press. Tobias Wolff is the author of numerous books, including the memoirs This Boy's Life and In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War; the novel Old School; and, most recently, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. Contributors: Laurie Alberts, Marvin V. Arnett, Charles Barber, Mary Felstiner, Eli Hastings, Sonya Huber, Jonathan Johnson, Ted Kooser, Dinah Lenney, Aaron Raz Link, Lee Martin, Dinty W. Moore, Hilda Raz, Mimi Schwartz, Brenda Serotte, Fan Shen, Peggy Shumaker, Natalia Rachel Singer, Floyd Skloot, John Skoyles, and Janet Sternburg.


Preface; Introduction by Tobias Wolff "Long Live the Red Terror!" from Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard by Fan Shen; "Moving Water, Tucson" from Just Breathe Normally by Peggy Shumaker; "Winter 1997" from Fault Line by Laurie Alberts; "The Weight of Spoons" from Songs from the Black Chair: A memoir of Mental Interiors by Charles Barber; "Hard Luck Suit" from Secret Frequencies: A New York Education by John Skoyles; "Fortuna" from The Fortune Teller's Kiss by Brenda Serotte; "The Boys of Summer" from Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt by Marvin V. Arnett; Excerpt from "Winter" from Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser; "Son of Mr. Green Jeans: A Meditation on Missing Fathers" from Between Panic and Desire by Dinty W. Moore; "Good, Alright, Fine" from Falling Room by Eli Hastings; "Acting" from Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir by Dinah Lenney; "And There Fell a Great Star" from Scraping by in the Big Eighties by Natalia Rachel Singer; "Not Coming Out" from What Becomes You by Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz; From Phantom Limb by Janet Sternburg; "Alternatives, 1979" from Out of Joint: A Private and Public Story of Arthritis by Mary Felstiner; Excerpt from "The Second Trimester" from Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood by Jonathan Johnson; "A Measure of Acceptance" from In the Shadow of Memory by Floyd Skloot; "The New Kitchen" from Thought from a Queen-Sized Bed by Mimi Schwartz; "One I Love, Two I Love" from Turning Bones by Lee Martin; Excerpt from "The Promise of Power" from Opa Nobody by Sonya Huber Contributor Biographies

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/03/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780803228054
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 326
  • ID: 9780803228054
  • weight: 386
  • ISBN10: 0803228058

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