The Stranger in the Attic: Finding a Lost Brother in his Letters Home

Jacobs, John Kedzie

Published by Jacobs, 2013
ISBN 10: 061582739X / ISBN 13: 9780615827391
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Synopsis: John Kedzie Jacobs is ninety-five years old. In this heartbreaking memoir he collects the letters of his brilliant, lost older brother and brings us into the world of the Great Depression -- what he calls that "wonderful, dreadful, wonderful period" in America.
The Jacobs brothers grew up in a nervous, brainy family on a struggling Hudson Valley apple farm. In 1932 Edward went to New York City to study at the Art Students League in a class with Jackson Pollock where his teachers included Thomas Hart Benton and George Grosz. He painted murals for Roosevelt's Work Projects Administration and was an active member of the communist party. In early 1937 he joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and went to Spain to fight with the Loyalists against Franco. He was executed there by Franco's army in March, 1938. He was twenty-four years old.
John Jacobs moved back to the farm when he retired from the United States Information Agency. His wife Katia found a trove of letters in the attic, many of them to and from Eddie. The letters chronicle his days at a Quaker boarding school in Poughkeepsie; his thrilling time as a broke, passionate, political artist in New York; a cross-country trip riding the rails and camping in the hobo jungles of the Great Depression; and finally his revelatory, soaring time in Spain, as a member of the International Brigade. Friends and teachers come to life in his letters, bringing the era into full, present color.
John was a freshman at Antioch College when Edward was lost in Spain. Reading these letters for the first time at eighty-three, he found someone very different from the challenging, intense brother he remembered. Living in the house where they grew up together, he undertook this extraordinary act of brotherly love. Full of family stories, questions about memory and myth, drawings and paintings and photographs, The Stranger in the Attic is a fully alive, immediate and deeply affecting picture of an American family and their time in history.

About the Author: John Kedzie Jacobs was born in New Paltz, New York in 1918. He lives with his wife Katia on the farm in the Hudson Valley where he grew up before leaving to attend Antioch College in 1936. In World War II he was a detachment commander in the Army Air Force in the South Pacific. After the war he worked for the U.S. Information Agency as a commentary writer for the Voice of America international broadcasting service and editor-in-chief of America Illustrated magazine distributed in the Soviet Union. He was in the foreign service in Vienna, Austria in the 1970s and after that was director of the USIA International Exhibition Service. John has served on both the Planning Board and the Land Trust in the Town of Lloyd.

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Title: The Stranger in the Attic: Finding a Lost ...
Publisher: Jacobs
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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