Family Portraits: Remembrances by Twenty Distinguished Writers

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9780385264150: Family Portraits: Remembrances by Twenty Distinguished Writers
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Renowned writers such as Margaret Atwood, Alfred Kazin, and Gloria Steinem recall to mind some family member or loved one whose compassion and understanding, humor and good sense changed their lives for the better

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From Publishers Weekly:

Good writers draw deeply on their childhoods and memories of parents and siblings, and it was a fine idea to persuade a group of them to do so formally, for the reader's pleasure. The authors represented here are a thoroughly mixed bag, ranging from Isaac Bashevis Singer and Wallace Stegner to such current popular favorites as Margaret Atwood and Gail Godwin. They write most often of fathers and mothers, though there are several beloved aunts and uncles. The prevailing mood is one of regret: over thwarted lives, particularly for the mothers of another era, for the affection that was never adequately conveyed in life. The book is like a poignant collection of short stories. Particularly striking among them are Stegner's threnody for his mother, Atwood's saucy recollection of "great aunts," Alfred Kazin's exotic tale of Brooklyn Jewish life, Godwin's wry evaluation of her mother as writer and person, Elizabeth Spencer's beautifully written evocation of the South and Gloria Steinem's agonized chronicle of her mother's difficult life. All are worth reading as indications of how sweetly imagination works with memory to evoke other times, other places.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In essay form, 20 contemporary authors reflect upon family relationships and relatives who were important in their development as writers and people. The most illuminating essays are often the most bittersweet, as when David Bradley recognizes in "Harvest Home" that hypocrisy exists in all families, or when Gloria Steinem offers a moving testament to her mother in the previously published "Ruth's Song." Most readers will find essays here by writers they know, and autobiography enthusiasts may also enjoy this compilation. Recommended for larger public libraries.
- Jean Keleher, Wally Findlay Galleries Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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