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Born into the turmoil of mid-sixties San Francisco, the daughter of a flower child and a surfer, Joelle Fraser grew up with no bedtime, no boundaries, and no father. But “dads” she had in abundance, as her mother worked her way through boyfriends and husbands, caught between the traditional rules of her upbringing and the new freedoms of the “me generation” and women’s lib. Moving every few months, from houseboats and beach shacks to run-down apartments, Joelle came to learn that a woman’s life, free or not, is played out on men’s territory.
Set in northern California, Hawaii, and the small coastal towns of Oregon, Fraser’s engrossing memoir captures this centerless childhood in wonderfully vivid, frank writing, then goes on to show how a legacy like this affects a girl as she grows up. Pretty, blond, precociously aware of her own sexuality, Joelle was drawn to men early, eager to unlock their mysteries. Working in bars, prisons, and firing ranges, she liked to hang out where they congregated. To her the only worlds that counted were men’s worlds. Men held the power; they made life matter.
Fraser’s sharp vignettes of her intense relationships, brief, turbulent marriage, and itinerant life are haunting echoes of her early memories. In The Territory of Men, she brilliantly portrays the way a rootless childhood leads to a restless adulthood, and how a mother’s aimless life serves as a blueprint for her daughter.
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“The only thing I want from Joelle Fraser is more—she is a gifted writer with an honest and searching soul.”
—Jennifer Lauck, author of Blackbird and Still Waters
“It’s the magic of this book that in writing about her experience with such honesty and poetry, Joelle Fraser forces you to face some truths of your own. Woman, know thyself: Read The Territory of Men, and bring a hankie.”
—Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys
“This book doesn’t pretend that any individual’s life is epic. This book is about the daily revelations, mortifications, and moral quandaries we all endure. Joelle is self-aware, but she’s often as puzzled by herself as by others. This book contains many more question marks than exclamation points, and that makes it tender, funny, and true.”
—Sherman Alexie, author of The Toughest Indian in the World
“Joelle Fraser has taken a life built on broken fragments and transformed it into a gleaming whole. The Territory of Men is one of those rare books: the kind that keeps you up too late, the kind whose pages warp from wear, the kind that, once read, you place on your shelf with a wistful smile, a tinge of regret, and a promise to read it again.”
—Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of Shutterbabe
“Joelle Fraser has crafted an elegant, sharp-eyed portrait of her girlhood in the Free Love era. She manages such a wry depiction of difficult times that the book itself becomes a testament to the resilience of the born storyteller. What a miracle that a girl who lived through so much trouble could grow up to write like this.”
—Lisa Michaels, author of Split: A Counterculture Childhood and Grand Ambition
“To build a memoir from the excruciating details of a harrowing childhood is a delicate and demanding art. To build one this extraordinary—shot through with humor, generosity, and a haunting forgiveness—is the work of an exceptional artist.”
—Michael Byers, author of The Coast of Good Intentions
Joelle Fraser has an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa and is a MacDowell fellow. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious San Francisco Foundation Award for Nonfiction. The Territory of Men is her first book. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Book Description Villard, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375504370
Book Description Villard, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375504370
Book Description Villard, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110375504370
Book Description Villard. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375504370 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0116672