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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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1 Hawthorne Western Civilization- 20th Century

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The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace

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The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A MASTERPIECE OF LITERARY MEMORY—A POWERFUL EXPLORATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF FAMILY, HISTORY, AND MEMORY.

“One evening in May 1948, my mother went to a party in New York with her first husband and left it with her second, my father.” So begins the passionate and stormy union of Mikhail Kamenetzki, aka Ugo Stille, one of Italys most celebrated journalists, and Elizabeth Bogert, a beautiful and charming young woman from the Midwest.

Their immediate attraction and tumultuous marriage is part of a much larger story: the mass migration of Jews from fascist-dominated Europe in the 1930s and in the shadow of World War II. It is the story of a crucial, painful moment in history that reshaped much of American culture and society—but also that of two seemingly incongruous people who managed to find love. Theirs was an uneasy marriage between Europe and America, between Jew and Wasp; their differences were a key to their bond yet a source of constant strife.

Acclaimed author and frequent New Yorker contributor Alexander Stilles The Force of Things is a powerful, beautifully written work with the intimacy of a memoir, the pace and readability of a novel, and the historical sweep and documentary precision of nonfiction writing at its best. It is a portrait of people who are buffeted about by large historical events, who try to escape their origins but find themselves in the grip of the force of things.

Review:

"Digging up the ghosts and skeletons hiding in family closets can be exhilarating, repulsive, amusing, or terrifying, and reading memoirs of a family — unless it's ours — can be just as exhilarating or terrifying or uninteresting. What is it about this family that resembles our own? What lessons can we learn from this memoir? Stille's sometimes charming, sometimes tedious memoir traces the story of his star-crossed, storm-tossed parents who lived and loved against the backdrop of the migration of Jews from fascist-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s and a cultural life in postwar America that included moving among New York intellectuals such as Dwight McDonald, Alfred Kazin, and Philip Roth. Some of his relatives are notable characters; his Aunt Lally, for example, is 'something of a Holy Fool out of a Russian novel, a person almost free of guile or malice.' An inveterate hoarder, Lally's apartment contains mountains of documents that eventually help Stille discover elements of his father's personality and his father's passion for detail. Like an improbable Romeo and Juliet, Stille's father, the celebrated Italian journalist Mikhail Kamenetzki, and his mother, the Midwestern beauty Elizabeth Bogert, meet when she 'goes to a party in New York with her first husband and leaves it with her second' (Stille's father). Stille's often moving, though overlong, memoir records one couple's struggles and uncertainties in the midst of uncertain times. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alexander Stille is the author of Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, Benevolence and Betrayal, and The Future of the Past. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374157425
Author:
Stille, Alexander
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 5 black-and-white photographs t
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 20th Century

The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace Used Hardcover
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$15.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374157425 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Digging up the ghosts and skeletons hiding in family closets can be exhilarating, repulsive, amusing, or terrifying, and reading memoirs of a family — unless it's ours — can be just as exhilarating or terrifying or uninteresting. What is it about this family that resembles our own? What lessons can we learn from this memoir? Stille's sometimes charming, sometimes tedious memoir traces the story of his star-crossed, storm-tossed parents who lived and loved against the backdrop of the migration of Jews from fascist-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s and a cultural life in postwar America that included moving among New York intellectuals such as Dwight McDonald, Alfred Kazin, and Philip Roth. Some of his relatives are notable characters; his Aunt Lally, for example, is 'something of a Holy Fool out of a Russian novel, a person almost free of guile or malice.' An inveterate hoarder, Lally's apartment contains mountains of documents that eventually help Stille discover elements of his father's personality and his father's passion for detail. Like an improbable Romeo and Juliet, Stille's father, the celebrated Italian journalist Mikhail Kamenetzki, and his mother, the Midwestern beauty Elizabeth Bogert, meet when she 'goes to a party in New York with her first husband and leaves it with her second' (Stille's father). Stille's often moving, though overlong, memoir records one couple's struggles and uncertainties in the midst of uncertain times. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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