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    David Mitchell 9781400065677

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Atlas of the Human Heart


Atlas of the Human Heart Cover

ISBN13: 9781580050883
ISBN10: 1580050883
Condition: Student Owned
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They say that back back back, before I was born, people actually believed the stories they told themselves. This may be true, but no one can prove it.

I'll tell you where I came from: northern California. A peninsula surrounded by the sea. Water and more water. The second illegitimate daughter of intuition and paranoia. Tide pool hermit crab, fierce and private. Vulnerable belly. Destined for lifelong homelessness, squatting, outgrowing shells, searching for new ones, hitchhiking with anemones. Of the ocean, but terrestrial.

I was still an infant when my bio-dad realized he was cracking up. Maybe it was just the time, he told himself. He'd been trying to edit the Merry Pranksters' bus trip video, but there was nothing in it worth saving. My sister's birth had coincided neatly with the "hippie funeral" in Golden Gate Park. And now Hendrix and Joplin. The Manson trial just heating up. Genocide and rumors of genocide. Everything that wasn't dead seemed crazy. Or maybe it was the place. The Monterey Peninsula with its high levels of seismic activity and thick fog of memories. The time and the place. There's always hoping, anyway. So my bio-dad packed us up--two kids and common law-wife-and we spent long months chasing sanity from California to Devon, England; Devon, England, to central London; central London to Amsterdam; Amsterdam to Montparnasse; Montparnasse to the French countryside, where my bio-dad decided that my mother was an Iranian spy and locked us all in a little stone house until I learned to walk and talk and my sister learned to count in French and my bio-dad gave up on his runaway sanity and my mother gave up on him and we escaped, flew home to California.

That's what I'm told, anyway. And the pretty green and blue entrance and exit visas stamped in my baby passport would tend to substantiate the story.

Stories. Patterns from scraps. This one's a work of fiction, meaning it's about 76 percent true. Or it's a memoir, meaning it's about 76 percent false. Maybe it should have been a Choose Your Own Adventurebook:

You're Little Red Riding-Hood. You can't see the forest through the trees (no one can). You have some cookies and you have some wine. You're wearing your red velvet cape. Of course you are. It's your favorite. You wear it everywhere you go. You're walking and you're singing and you're thinking of your grandmother when suddenly . . . What's it going to be? A wolf? A missed connection? An unexpected massacre? Maybe it'll be your own madness jumping out in front of you on that dusty trail. Or god. Maybe it'll be that damned old woman, sneaky-wise with her famous red apple--the one you know you should refuse. It's knowledge or it's poison. But you can't help it, can you? (You're still immortal at this point.) You reach for it. And what happens next? From here, it's all possibilities...

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thisboylovesbooks, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by thisboylovesbooks)
Crazy good non-fiction book. Gore is a talented writer with a unique perspective, former editor of Hip Mama zine, now resides in Stumptown, where she continues to write, or so I have heard. Atlas should be read in every high school, as Gore is a truth teller in regards to teen pregnancy, domestic violence, traveling alone and living outside of mainstream America. She is one of a kind and our household appreciates her creative spirit and then some.
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Product Details

Gore, Ariel
Seal Press (CA)
New York, NY
Essays & Travelogues
Coming of age
Personal Memoirs
Americans -- Foreign countries.
Teenagers -- United States.
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Live Girls
Series Volume:
no. 15
Publication Date:
May 2003
BandW illustrations
8.25 x 5.5 in 13.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Atlas of the Human Heart Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.00 In Stock
Product details 333 pages Seal Press (WA) - English 9781580050883 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A terrific and important book. Ariel Gore rips through the cultural wasteland of the 1980s with fierce desire and female angst, taking us on a wild ride. Impossible to put down."
"Review" by , "Ariel Gore packed more living into her teenage years than most people manage to in a lifetime. I am so grateful to have been taken along on her long strange trip, a journey that traverses the tunnels and streets of the human heart as well as the planet. This is a book of rare honesty and power, a book that holds faith in poetry and fate, a book that pulses with true lifeblood."
"Review" by , "Ariel Gore has crafted an incredible adolescent adventure story, casting herself as the pure-hearted, confused and wandering hero. A fascinating, sad and funny, exciting and beautifully written story, Gore doesn't just run away from home, she runs away from America."
"Review" by , "An escape from a boring adolescence becomes a journey of enlightenment, and, by the end, my heart was as aching sore as my feet would have been had it been my own journey. Indeed, I feel like it was. A beautiful book about navigating the landscape of human awareness at the end of the century. It tells the story of a time out of time, when the children of the world were wandering the planet like so many lost dreams trying to wake up and find a little sunshine and coffee waiting for them."
"Synopsis" by ,
Like Jack Kerouacs intrepid little sister, Ariel Gore spins the spirited story of a vulnerable drifter who takes refuge in the recesses of the human heart. With just a few pennies and her I Ching, a change of clothes and a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, a perceptive, searching Gore makes her way through the labyrinthine customs of Cold-War China, wanders bustling, electric Katmandu, and hunkers down in an icy London squat with a prostitute and a boyfriend on the dole. Yet it is in the calm, verdant landscape of rural Italy where, pregnant and penniless, nineteen-year-old Gores adventure truly begins. An illuminating glimpse into the boldly political Gore—creator of and Hip Mama magazine—this unflinching memoir offers a poignant exploration of the meaning of home, and surveys the frontiers of both land and heart.
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