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True North: A Memoir

by

True North: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With all the openness to life, all the largeness of spirit, that made her girlhood memoir, The Road from Coorain, an acclaimed — and beloved — bestseller, Jill Ker Conway continues her story.

She was twenty-five when we left her, driven by a hunger to know and to understand, boarding a plane that would carry her far from her Australian homeland. As True North begins she lands, appropriately enough, in a hurricane, in New York. And is soon at Harvard, a graduate student in history experiencing both exhilaration and culture shock; discovering among friends of many backgrounds an easier sociability than she has ever known; delighting in classes that seem charged with energy, and in the perception that ideas were being taken seriously — yet still feeling like an extraterrestrial on the American planet. We see her joining with five other women to form a household that becomes an "almost magical," hilarious, and harmonious community — the community that functions as her family when she meets the Harvard professor and housemaster who will become her husband, John Conway, himself a historian, Canadian born and bred, decorated for heroism in World War II — the complex man whose mind and spirit complement her own.

We see them marrying and learning to live together — during a year at Oxford, in Rome, and as they settle into the new world of Canadian university life — happy with each other, while coping, not always well, with her classically obsessive thesis writing, her as-yet-unresolved conflict with her mother, his periodic bouts of depression, and her realization that even though John's integrity, courage, and devotion to humanistic learning have become the compass point — the true north — by which she steers, there will be times when she has to navigate alone. We witness the moment of her spiritual arrival on this continent and her discovery of her warrior self — fighting for equity in her own career and for other women.

This is how a most private woman found for herself a public persona that released in her a new creativity. How a passionate concern for the education of women opened the way to a new calling, and ultimately, as the memoir ends, to her decision to accept the presidency of Smith College. This is the true story, moving and enriching, of the author's own continuing education — an education not only of the mind but of the heart and of the spirit.

Review:

"The product of a questing mind, informed by a postcolonial worldview uneasy with the colonial legacy, True North gives much food for thought." Kathleen Byrne, Quill & Quire

Review:

"Like its predecessor, True North touches upon a wide range of experiences, including Conway's strained relationship with her possessive mother, her ambivalence about her national identity, her marriage to an eminently compatible, supportive older man prone to bouts of depression, and her increasing awareness of the gender discrimination practiced...by members of the educated elite.... Still, the focus of True North, covering the 15-year period between Conway's arrival in America as a graduate student in 1960, and her accepting the presidency of Smith, a women's college in Northampton, Mass., in 1975, is her life in academe, recounted with an appealing blend of enthusiasm and clear-eyed criticism." Merle Rubin, The Christian Science Monitor (Eastern edition)

Review:

"Absorbing and poignant." Janette Turner Hospital, Boston Globe

Review:

"A wonderful book...An immensely engaging storyteller." Barbara Landis Chase, Washington Post Book World

Synopsis:

"Compelling...A fascinating life." --The Toronto Star

"Conway is a remarkable woman--spunky, intelligent." --The Globe and Mail

"A wonderful book...An immensely engaging storyteller." --Washington Post Book World

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jill Ker Conway was born in Hillston, New South Wales, Australia, graduated from the University of Sydney in 1958, and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969. From 1964 to 1975 she taught at the University of Toronto and was Vice President there before serving for ten years as President of Smith College. Since 1985 she has been a visiting scholar and professor in M.I.T.'s Program in Science, Technology and Society, and she now lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679744610
Author:
Conway, Jill Ker
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Administration
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Autobiography
Subject:
Faculty
Subject:
College administrators
Subject:
College presidents.
Subject:
Administrative personnel.
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Conway, Jill K.
Subject:
Smith College - Presidents - Biography
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
104-267
Publication Date:
19950831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.49x5.39x.96 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Australia » General
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

True North: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780679744610 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The product of a questing mind, informed by a postcolonial worldview uneasy with the colonial legacy, True North gives much food for thought."
"Review" by , "Like its predecessor, True North touches upon a wide range of experiences, including Conway's strained relationship with her possessive mother, her ambivalence about her national identity, her marriage to an eminently compatible, supportive older man prone to bouts of depression, and her increasing awareness of the gender discrimination practiced...by members of the educated elite.... Still, the focus of True North, covering the 15-year period between Conway's arrival in America as a graduate student in 1960, and her accepting the presidency of Smith, a women's college in Northampton, Mass., in 1975, is her life in academe, recounted with an appealing blend of enthusiasm and clear-eyed criticism."
"Review" by , "Absorbing and poignant."
"Review" by , "A wonderful book...An immensely engaging storyteller."
"Synopsis" by , "Compelling...A fascinating life." --The Toronto Star

"Conway is a remarkable woman--spunky, intelligent." --The Globe and Mail

"A wonderful book...An immensely engaging storyteller." --Washington Post Book World

From the Hardcover edition.

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