Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, a Memoir

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9780316909099: Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, a Memoir

In the tradition of Jo Ann Beard's Boys of My Youth, and Mary Karr'sThe Liar's Club, Paula McLain has written a powerful and haunting memoir about the years she and her two sisters spent as foster children. In the early 70s, after being abandoned by both parents, the girls were made wards of the Fresno County, California court and spent the next 14 years-in a series of adoptive homes. The dislocations, confusions, and odd pleasures of an unrooted life form the basis of a captivating memoir. McLain's beautiful writing and limber voice capture the intense loneliness, sadness, and determination of a young girl both on her own and responsible, with her siblings, for staying together as a family.

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About the Author:

After leaving California in 1987, Paula McLain spent the next decade in personal and professional vagabondage. She has worked in auto plants and hospitals and has been a cocktail waitress, a Christmas tree salesperson, a pizza maker, and an English teacher. In 1996, she received her MFA from the University of Michigan. Since then she has been in residence at Bread Loaf, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. At work on a novel, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Review:

"What makes LIKE FAMILY so remarkable are not the peculiar circumstances of Paula McLain's childhood but the depth of understanding that she brings to those circumstances, and the beautiful prose in which she renders that understanding. Seldom have I seen so vividly evoked the need to belong to some, any, kind of family and the painful negotiations that time brings to even our closest intimacies." (Library Journal Margot Livesey, author of Eva Moves the Furniture 2003-01-00)

"Ms. McLain's close observation of the sisters' perils jumps with life and wry merriment. They take their pleasures and their sorrows as they arrive; even their times of desolation are narrated in language that conveys a kind of ragged glory-the tattered flag of their kinship still waves!" (Paula Fox, author of Borrowed Finery)

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McLain, Paula
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Book Description Little, Brown Company, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Squeezed in between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide - not a country which lends itself easily to maps. Nor, as Sara Wheeler found out, does it easily lend itself to a lone woman with two carpetbags who wishes to travel from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Yet, despite bureaucratic, geographic and climatic setbacks, Sara Wheeler managed to complete that journey in six months, discovering en route a country that is quite extraordinarily diverse. This is an account of an odyssey which included Christmas Day spent with a llama sandwich on the Tropic of Capricorn at 13,000 feet, a sex hotel in the capital, four days wedged aboard a cargo boat, a wet tent and and high street bank in Patagonia. In Santiago she talked her way into the prisons, in Tierra del Fuego she hitched a lift around Cape Horn on a supply boat delivering a coffin, and in the high Andes she lived on a Vedic commune. From Easter in the slums to an eventful week on Robinson Crusoe Island, the author picks her way through the complex reality of South American Catholicism and the fragile peace of a newly-born democracy. She also drinks a lot of wine. This improbable ribbon of land has been home to Andean tribes who remain the most scientifically neglected people in the world; it has been conquered by conquistadores, pillaged by Sir Francis Drake (no hero in Chile), exploited by foreign imperialists, blighted by the Panama Canal, governed by the world s first democratically-elected Marxist president and stamped upon by one of this century s most reviled dictators. And, as Sara Wheeler discovered, they have all left their mark on today s Chile - an extravagantly complex country, hidden behind the Andes and stretching to the end of the world. Other work by the author includes An Island Apart . Bookseller Inventory # APC9780316909099

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Book Description Little, Brown Company, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Squeezed in between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide - not a country which lends itself easily to maps. Nor, as Sara Wheeler found out, does it easily lend itself to a lone woman with two carpetbags who wishes to travel from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Yet, despite bureaucratic, geographic and climatic setbacks, Sara Wheeler managed to complete that journey in six months, discovering en route a country that is quite extraordinarily diverse. This is an account of an odyssey which included Christmas Day spent with a llama sandwich on the Tropic of Capricorn at 13,000 feet, a sex hotel in the capital, four days wedged aboard a cargo boat, a wet tent and and high street bank in Patagonia. In Santiago she talked her way into the prisons, in Tierra del Fuego she hitched a lift around Cape Horn on a supply boat delivering a coffin, and in the high Andes she lived on a Vedic commune. From Easter in the slums to an eventful week on Robinson Crusoe Island, the author picks her way through the complex reality of South American Catholicism and the fragile peace of a newly-born democracy. She also drinks a lot of wine. This improbable ribbon of land has been home to Andean tribes who remain the most scientifically neglected people in the world; it has been conquered by conquistadores, pillaged by Sir Francis Drake (no hero in Chile), exploited by foreign imperialists, blighted by the Panama Canal, governed by the world s first democratically-elected Marxist president and stamped upon by one of this century s most reviled dictators. And, as Sara Wheeler discovered, they have all left their mark on today s Chile - an extravagantly complex country, hidden behind the Andes and stretching to the end of the world. Other work by the author includes An Island Apart . Bookseller Inventory # APC9780316909099

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Book Description Back Bay Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 288 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.6in. x 0.7in.No missing pages, Water Damage, or stains. Spine shows creasing. This is a readable copy. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780316909099

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