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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir

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A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"In her memoir, novelist Vandenburgh (Failure to Zigzag) tells of her dysfunctional Protestant family, rebellious adolescence, a flirtation with lesbianism, a survived car crash and famous friends. She begins the narrative at age nine, barefoot and scrappy, skipping school and wreaking unsupervised havoc with her two brothers (aged 13 and five) in 1950s Redondo, Calif. Their bohemian bliss sours when their father, who had been arrested several times for hanging around gay bars, commits suicide, sending Vandenburgh's already fragile, mentally unstable mother off the deep end. She loses custody, and Jane and her brothers are sent to a suburb of L.A. to live with their aunt, a fervent Christian who has four children of her own, as well as an adulterous husband. Then comes suburban ennui and rebellion: short skirts, shoplifting, watching porn. Vandenburgh's story is engaging, though feels familiar-in fact, Vandenburgh has written parts of it before (Failure to Zigzag features a crazy, often negligent mother; The Physics of Sunset focuses on an adulterous affair in Berkeley, Calif.). In a neat narrative twist, she has an affair with a person who ends up being the publisher of her book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

This memoir is basically two different books. The first half is a very coherent, tightly controlled account of the author's childhood, which was, predictably enough, fraught.

Jane, along with her older brother, Will, and her younger brother, Geo, are raised for the first 10 years of her life in the downscale California shore community of Redondo Beach. Her father is a respectable,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Born into “a certain kind of family”—affluent, white, Protestant—Jane Vandenburgh came of age when the sexual revolution was sweeping the cultural landscape, making its mark in a way that would change our manners and mores forever. But what began as an all-American life soon spun off and went spectacularly awry.

Her father, an architect with a prominent Los Angeles firm, was arrested several times for being in gay bars during the 1950s, and only freed when her grandfather paid bribes to the L.A.P.D. He was ultimately placed in a psychiatric hospital to be “cured” of his homosexuality, and committed suicide when she was nine. Her mother—an artist and freethinker—lost custody of her children when she was committed to a mental hospital. The author and her two brothers were raised by an aunt and uncle who had, under one roof, seven children and problems of their own.

In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture and her life within it. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural revelation.

Synopsis:

In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture in the 1950s and 60s. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, "A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century" is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural revelation.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582434599
Author:
Vandenburgh, Jane
Publisher:
Counterpoint LLC
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Vandenburgh, Jane
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Problem families
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 24 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs

A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir Used Hardcover
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$11.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Counterpoint LLC - English 9781582434599 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In her memoir, novelist Vandenburgh (Failure to Zigzag) tells of her dysfunctional Protestant family, rebellious adolescence, a flirtation with lesbianism, a survived car crash and famous friends. She begins the narrative at age nine, barefoot and scrappy, skipping school and wreaking unsupervised havoc with her two brothers (aged 13 and five) in 1950s Redondo, Calif. Their bohemian bliss sours when their father, who had been arrested several times for hanging around gay bars, commits suicide, sending Vandenburgh's already fragile, mentally unstable mother off the deep end. She loses custody, and Jane and her brothers are sent to a suburb of L.A. to live with their aunt, a fervent Christian who has four children of her own, as well as an adulterous husband. Then comes suburban ennui and rebellion: short skirts, shoplifting, watching porn. Vandenburgh's story is engaging, though feels familiar-in fact, Vandenburgh has written parts of it before (Failure to Zigzag features a crazy, often negligent mother; The Physics of Sunset focuses on an adulterous affair in Berkeley, Calif.). In a neat narrative twist, she has an affair with a person who ends up being the publisher of her book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Born into “a certain kind of family”—affluent, white, Protestant—Jane Vandenburgh came of age when the sexual revolution was sweeping the cultural landscape, making its mark in a way that would change our manners and mores forever. But what began as an all-American life soon spun off and went spectacularly awry.

Her father, an architect with a prominent Los Angeles firm, was arrested several times for being in gay bars during the 1950s, and only freed when her grandfather paid bribes to the L.A.P.D. He was ultimately placed in a psychiatric hospital to be “cured” of his homosexuality, and committed suicide when she was nine. Her mother—an artist and freethinker—lost custody of her children when she was committed to a mental hospital. The author and her two brothers were raised by an aunt and uncle who had, under one roof, seven children and problems of their own.

In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture and her life within it. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural revelation.

"Synopsis" by , In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture in the 1950s and 60s. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, "A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century" is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural revelation.
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