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Townie: A Memoir

by

Townie: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“A bracing and no-nonsense memoir, infused with fresh takes on love, death, and human nature.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

As with many of us, the life of acclaimed novelist Howard Norman has had its share of incidents of “arresting strangeness.” Yet few of us connect these moments, as Norman has done in this spellbinding memoir, to show how life tangles with the psyche to become art. Norman’s story begins with a portrait, both harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer working in a bookmobile, in the shadow of a grifter father and under the erotic tutelage of his brother’s girlfriend. His life story continues in places as far-flung as the Arctic, where he spends part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales—including the story of a soapstone carver turned into a goose whose migration-time lament is “I hate to leave this beautiful place”—and in his beloved Point Reyes, California, as a student of birds. In the Arctic, he receives news over the radio that “John Lennon was murdered tonight in the city of New York in the USA.” And years later, in Washington, D.C., another act of deeply felt violence occurs in the form of a murder-suicide when Norman and his wife loan their home to a poet and her young son. Norman’s story is also stitched together with moments of uncanny solace. Of life in his Vermont farmhouse Norman writes, “Everything I love most happens most every day.”

In the hands of Howard Norman, author of The Bird Artist and What Is Left the Daughter, life’s arresting strangeness is made into a profound, creative, and redemptive memoir.

Synopsis:

"Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness."--Vanity Fair

Synopsis:

Won Book of the Year Adult Non-Fiction--2012 Indie Choice Awards Amazon Best Book of the Month February 2011 "Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness."--

Synopsis:

A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America’s most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past

Synopsis:

A memoir of the haunting and redemptive events of the acclaimed writer's life—the betrayal of a con-man father; a murder-suicide in his family's house; the presence of an oystercatcher—each one, as the saying goes, stranger than fiction.

Synopsis:

“The events of a single episode of Howard Normans superb memoir are both on the edge of chaos and gathered superbly into coherent meaning . . . A wise, riskily written, beautiful book.” — Michael Ondaatje

Howard Normans spellbinding memoir begins with a portrait, both harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer working in a bookmobile, in the shadow of a grifter father and under the erotic tutelage of his brothers girlfriend. His life story continues in places as far-flung as the Arctic, where he spends part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales—including the story of a soapstone carver turned into a goose whose migration-time lament is “I hate to leave this beautiful place”—and in his beloved Point Reyes, California, as a student of birds. Years later, in Washington, D.C., an act of deeply felt violence occurs in the form of a murder-suicide when Norman and his wife loan their home to a poet and her young son. In Normans hands, lifes arresting strangeness is made into a profound, creative, and redemptive story.

“Uses the tight focus of geography to describe five unsettling periods of his life, each separated by time and subtle shifts in his narrative voice . . . The originality of his telling here is as surprising as ever.” — Washington Post

“These stories almost seem like tall tales themselves, but Norman renders them with a journalistic attention to detail. Amidst these bizarre experiences, he finds solace through the places hes lived and their quirky inhabitants, human and avian.” — The New Yorker

Synopsis:

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas, couldn't have been more stark. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others--bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.

About the Author

Andre Dubus III grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and is the author of Townie (winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award), The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a National Book Award finalist and Oprah pick), Bluesman, and The Cage Keeper & Other Stories. He lives with his family north of Boston.

Table of Contents

Introduction

xi

Advice of the Fatherly Sort

1

Grey Geese Descending

41

I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

85

Kingfisher Days

119

The Healing Powers of the

Western Oystercatcher

153

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393340679
Author:
Dubus III, Andre
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Andre Dubus III
Author:
Blow, Charles M.
Author:
Norman, Howard
Author:
Dubus, Andre, III
Author:
Dubus III Andre
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Townie: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393340679 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness."--Vanity Fair
"Synopsis" by , Won Book of the Year Adult Non-Fiction--2012 Indie Choice Awards Amazon Best Book of the Month February 2011 "Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness."--
"Synopsis" by ,
A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America’s most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past
"Synopsis" by ,
A memoir of the haunting and redemptive events of the acclaimed writer's life—the betrayal of a con-man father; a murder-suicide in his family's house; the presence of an oystercatcher—each one, as the saying goes, stranger than fiction.
"Synopsis" by ,
“The events of a single episode of Howard Normans superb memoir are both on the edge of chaos and gathered superbly into coherent meaning . . . A wise, riskily written, beautiful book.” — Michael Ondaatje

Howard Normans spellbinding memoir begins with a portrait, both harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer working in a bookmobile, in the shadow of a grifter father and under the erotic tutelage of his brothers girlfriend. His life story continues in places as far-flung as the Arctic, where he spends part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales—including the story of a soapstone carver turned into a goose whose migration-time lament is “I hate to leave this beautiful place”—and in his beloved Point Reyes, California, as a student of birds. Years later, in Washington, D.C., an act of deeply felt violence occurs in the form of a murder-suicide when Norman and his wife loan their home to a poet and her young son. In Normans hands, lifes arresting strangeness is made into a profound, creative, and redemptive story.

“Uses the tight focus of geography to describe five unsettling periods of his life, each separated by time and subtle shifts in his narrative voice . . . The originality of his telling here is as surprising as ever.” — Washington Post

“These stories almost seem like tall tales themselves, but Norman renders them with a journalistic attention to detail. Amidst these bizarre experiences, he finds solace through the places hes lived and their quirky inhabitants, human and avian.” — The New Yorker

"Synopsis" by , After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas, couldn't have been more stark. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others--bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.
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