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A Day at the Beach (Vintage)by Geoffrey Wolff
Synopses & Reviews
With these interwoven autobiographical essays, Geoffrey Wolff, author of the acclaimed The Duke of Deception, recounts the moral (and immoral) education of a writer, friend, husband, and father, as he offers his spirited, elegant, and deeply felt observations on an extraordinary life: from wildly dysfunctional childhood Christmases to a concupiscent career teaching literature in Istanbul; from a victory over the chaos of drink to a life-affirming surrender to the majesty of the Matterhorn; and from a foundering friendship to the transcending love of family.
He shares with us, then, the wisdom of an alert man learning through the unsettling collisions of time, place, and local custom, and through the force of hardship and hazard, to bring his many disparate selves together — with astonishing high-stakes candor and dazzling literary agility.
"Wolff is always a dream to read. He plays his anecdotes like a romantic pianist...cuts his cameos like a Venetian, and dashes into neologisms like an Olympic skater....A Day at the Beach is a délice from one of America's best memoirists." Village Voice
""Elegant....Provide[s] an upbeat counterpoint to the troubled father-son relationship chronicled in The Duke of Deception....In Geoffrey Wolff, America is blessed." Los Angeles Times
“A memoir of uncommon grace and self-deprecating charm....Buoyant and forceful.” Newsday
“Sparkling....Style is the hero of these essays....[Wolff] has lived a rich, full life that sounds almost Victorian in its mix of adventure and stability.” The New York Times
“Honest and touching....[Wolff explores] the romance of building the clean well-lighted sentence.” Chicago Tribune
“Exhilarating....Conjures up a diversity of scenes, set in locations ranging from Istanbul to Greenwich Village to a Caribbean beach.” Publishers Weekly
In this essay collection, now with a new introduction by Ann Patchett, Geoffrey Wolff recounts the moral (and sometimes immoral) education of a writer, friend, husband, and father. He shows us his wildly dysfunctional childhood Christmases — presided over by his con-man father — then shifts to his brash, short-lived teaching career in Istanbul. With dazzling literary agility, Wolff guides us through the surprising, invaluable turns that shaped his path: his victory over the chaos of drink, his open-heart surgery, his life-affirming surrender to the slopes of the Matterhorn, and his transcendent love of family. Long considered a classic, now expanded and back in print after two decades, A Day at the Beach shares Wolff's spirited, elegant, and deeply felt observations on an extraordinary life.
About the Author
Geoffrey Wolff is the author of six novels and six works of nonfiction, including the memoir The Duke of Deception, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 1994 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. From 1995 to 2006, he directed the Graduate Program in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. For his writing, he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Bath, Maine.
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