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This Boy's Lifeby Tobias Wolff
Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1989, this memoir has become a classic in the genre. With this book, Wolff essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. It was made into a movie in 1993.
Fiction writer Tobias Wolff electrified critics with his scarifying 1989 memoir, which many deemed as notable for its artful structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The story is pretty grim: Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed. Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up--not bad training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that listeners come away exhilarated.
"Wolff's well-regarded 1989 chronicle of his difficult childhood and adolescence is already considered a contemporary classic, and an avatar — for better and for worse — of the current memoir frenzy. Wyman reads with a certain downturned tone, where each sentence drifts into a melancholy fog. Try as he might, Wyman cannot lift the funk that hangs over Wolff's tale of youthful desperation and ambition, and ultimately adopts the book's bittersweet, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone. Wyman collapses the distance between himself and the book's narrator, so that we eventually come to mistake him for Wolff's Toby. A Grove paperback. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Heralded instantly upon publication by the critics, This Boy's Life has come to be universally recognized as a true modern classic of autobiography.
About the Author
TOBIAS WOLFF was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1945. He is the author of several works, including In Pharaoh's Army, a finalist for the National Book Award, and the novel, The Barracks Thief, which won the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
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