Bob Smith Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780684852706

Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir

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9780684852706: Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir
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The true story of a boy whose life was saved by literature, Hamlet's Dresser is a portrait of a person made whole by art. Bob Smith's childhood was a fragile and lonely one, spent largely caring for his handicapped sister, Carolyn. But at age ten, his local librarian gave him a copy of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, and it transformed him. In Bob's first look at Shakespeare's penetrating language -- "In sooth I know not why I am so sad" -- he had found a window through which to view the world. Years later, when the American Shakespeare Festival moved into Stratford and Smith was hired as Hamlet's dresser, his life's passion took shape.
Blending tragedy and comedy, Smith gracefully weaves together his childhood memories with his experiences backstage and teaching the plays. The result is a gorgeous, tender, infectious book about the restorative powers of literature and art.

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Of what do we write when we write of love? In Bob Smith's case, it is Shakespeare's poems and plays. Hamlet's Dresser braids two strands of his life into a modest, heartbreaking, and soaringly affirmative memoir. A bookish, lonely child, his crush on the Bard's work became love when, as an alienated teenager, he joined the American Shakespeare Theatre as Hamlet's dresser. In time he would dress other characters, perform in small roles, become a coach and a watcher, and eventually lead senior citizens' groups in Shakespeare-appreciation courses. But this ecstatic marriage was haunted by his sad, contorted childhood: an increasingly dysfunctional mother, a distant father, and Caroline, his profoundly retarded sister. "Art," he writes, "can be a brutal thing, not just some decoration placed over the truth, but the truth itself." Smith's prose is bluntly ineffable: a rundown theatre looks like "Miss Havisham's bride cake" and the first teacher who didn't like him was "Miss Shumaker. It was right after I stopped pleasing everybody." The book is thick with short passages from Shakespeare. Placed in perfect context, they leap from the pages, abrupt as panoramic pop-ups. --H. O'Billovich

About the Author:

Bob Smith has devoted his life to teaching and directing Shakespeare, working with college students, famous actors, and the elderly. He recently moved back to Stratford, Connecticut, where he was born.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The true story of a boy whose life was saved by literature, Hamlet s Dresser is a portrait of a person made whole by art. Bob Smith s childhood was a fragile and lonely one, spent largely caring for his handicapped sister, Carolyn. But at age ten, his local librarian gave him a copy of Shakespeare s The Merchant of Venice, and it transformed him. In Bob s first look at Shakespeare s penetrating language -- In sooth I know not why I am so sad -- he had found a window through which to view the world. Years later, when the American Shakespeare Festival moved into Stratford and Smith was hired as Hamlet s dresser, his life s passion took shape. Blending tragedy and comedy, Smith gracefully weaves together his childhood memories with his experiences backstage and teaching the plays. The result is a gorgeous, tender, infectious book about the restorative powers of literature and art. Seller Inventory # BZV9780684852706

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The true story of a boy whose life was saved by literature, Hamlet s Dresser is a portrait of a person made whole by art. Bob Smith s childhood was a fragile and lonely one, spent largely caring for his handicapped sister, Carolyn. But at age ten, his local librarian gave him a copy of Shakespeare s The Merchant of Venice, and it transformed him. In Bob s first look at Shakespeare s penetrating language -- In sooth I know not why I am so sad -- he had found a window through which to view the world. Years later, when the American Shakespeare Festival moved into Stratford and Smith was hired as Hamlet s dresser, his life s passion took shape. Blending tragedy and comedy, Smith gracefully weaves together his childhood memories with his experiences backstage and teaching the plays. The result is a gorgeous, tender, infectious book about the restorative powers of literature and art. Seller Inventory # BZV9780684852706

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The true story of a boy whose life was saved by literature, Hamlet s Dresser is a portrait of a person made whole by art. Bob Smith s childhood was a fragile and lonely one, spent largely caring for his handicapped sister, Carolyn. But at age ten, his local librarian gave him a copy of Shakespeare s The Merchant of Venice, and it transformed him. In Bob s first look at Shakespeare s penetrating language -- In sooth I know not why I am so sad -- he had found a window through which to view the world. Years later, when the American Shakespeare Festival moved into Stratford and Smith was hired as Hamlet s dresser, his life s passion took shape. Blending tragedy and comedy, Smith gracefully weaves together his childhood memories with his experiences backstage and teaching the plays. The result is a gorgeous, tender, infectious book about the restorative powers of literature and art. Seller Inventory # AAS9780684852706

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