- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
This title in other editions
Other titles in the American Lives series:
Between Panic and Desire (American Lives)by Dinty W Moore
Synopses & Reviews
Between Panic and Desire, named after two towns in Pennsylvania, finds Dinty W. Moore at the top of his astutely funny form. A book that could be named after one of its chapters, “A Post-Nixon, Post-panic, Post-modern, Post-mortem,” this collection is an unconventional memoir of one man and his culture, which also happens to be our own.
Blending narrative and quizzes, memory and numerology, and imagined interviews and conversations with dead presidents on TV, the book dizzily documents the disorienting experience of growing up in a postmodern world. Here we see how the major events in the authors early life—the Kennedy assassination, Nixons resignation, watching Father Knows Best, and dropping acid atop the World Trade Center, to name a few—shaped the way he sees events both global and personal today. More to the point, we see how these events shaped, and possibly even distorted, todays world for all who spent their formative years in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. A curious meditation on family and bereavement, longing and fear, self-loathing and desire, Between Panic and Desire unfolds in kaleidoscopic forms—a coroners report, a TV movie script, a Zen koan—aptly reflecting the emergence of a fractured virtual America.
"In this 'unconventional, nonsequential, generational autobiography, AKA cultural memoir,' Moore, a professor of English at Ohio University, describes growing up as a child of the 1950s. 'Panic' characterized his youth, as he watched 'the symbols of safety and security' on television — Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best — while his real world fell apart. His mother had left his often-inebriated father, but couldn't handle raising the children herself. 'Paranoia' was the theme of his teen years, as JFK and King were assassinated; the draft and the Vietnam War drove young men to extremes; and characters like Charlie Manson, Squeaky Fromme, Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley Jr. all took aim at public figures. Moore's own paranoia was only heightened by using LSD and smoking dope while tooling around in his VW Beetle. Miraculously, 'desire began to overtake panic'; he discovered a passion for writing, which has focused him ever since. Moore lays all this out in a series of free-form, almost playful essays; only there's something serious here, too, as he realizes our history seems to repeat itself: the Patriot Act sounds like 1984 and Iraq feels like Vietnam all over again. In the end, Moore (The Accidental Buddhist) takes readers on a quirky, entertaining joyride." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Dinty W. Moore is a professor and the director of the creative writing program at Ohio University. He is the author of several books, including The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction and The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like