Myself and Strangers: A Memoir of Apprenticeship

John Graves

Published by University of Texas Press, 2005
ISBN 10: 0292709722 / ISBN 13: 9780292709720
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In Myself and Strangers, John Graves, the highly regarded author of Goodbye to a River and other classic works, recalls the decade-long apprenticeship in which he found his voice as a writer. He recounts his wanderings from Texas to Mexico, New York, and Spain, where, like Hemingway, he hoped to find the material with which to write books that mattered. With characteristic honesty, Graves admits the false starts and dead ends that dogged much of his writing, along with the exhilaration he felt when the words finally flowed. He frankly describes both the pleasures and the restlessness of expatriate life in Europe after World War II—as well as his surprising discovery, when family obligations eventually called him home to Texas, that the years away had prepared him to embrace his native land as the fit subject matter for his writing. For anyone seeking the springs that fed John Graves' best-loved books, this memoir of apprenticeship will be genuinely rewarding.

From the Inside Flap: In Myself and Strangers, the much admired author of Goodbye to a River and other nonfiction classics recounts his long, winding journey toward becoming a writer in the years after World
War II.

Drawing upon memory and his journals, Graves moves quickly through his early days in Texas and his brief dramatic stint in the Pacific with the marines. The story starts in earnest with the year after the war, when his quest to find himself takes him to Mexico, where he punches out his young man?s recollections on an old portable typewriter, beginning a lifelong habit of looking inward, of observation and note-taking. We follow him to Martha Foley?s famous short fiction class at Columbia University, and then to Europe, where he spends nearly three years in 1950s Spain, part of the expat communities of Mallorca, Madrid, and Tenerife, keeping the journals that form the basis of this memoir.

We meet dozens of fascinating people: the large and generous Park Benjamin, who put him up in Mexico City; the restless, self-involved expatriates of Mallorca; Pepe Mut and other Spanish friends Graves sails and fishes with, and who allow him to become acquainted with the real Spain; and many other artists and writers, both famous and unknown.

It is a time of serious work and serious play, but whether cheering at a bullfight, sipping a strong local wine at a Canary Island literary salon, or spearing crustaceans underwater, Graves never forgets his deep-seated literary ambition. ?I would like so God-damned much to write something worth writing,? he says in an early journal entry. And we see him producing, despite many false starts, a stream of stories and articles and the beginning of a novel.

By the end of Myself and Strangers, Graves has returned to Texas, where he finds both his true voice and the world that has become the focus of much of his admired work. Here is a wonderfully revealing portrait of a young writer on his way?of the strivings, struggles, and self-scrutiny that marked the beginning of an extraordinary literary career.

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Title: Myself and Strangers: A Memoir of ...
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Univ of Texas, Austin, 2004. Wraps. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: No DJ. xiv + 235 including the author's Preface & photo illustrations. After an opening chapter on his own "origins," Graves shares memories of his experiences with friends in the years after WW II and the lessons he learned. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 0005677

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Book Description University of Texas Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 253 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.2in. x 0.6in.In Myself and Strangers, John Graves, the highly regarded author of Goodbye to a River and other classic works, recalls the decade-long apprenticeship in which he found his voice as a writer. He recounts his wanderings from Texas to Mexico, New York, and Spain, where, like Hemingway, he hoped to find the material with which to write books that mattered. With characteristic honesty, Graves admits the false starts and dead ends that dogged much of his writing, along with the exhilaration he felt when the words finally flowed. He frankly describes both the pleasures and the restlessness of expatriate life in Europe after World War IIas well as his surprising discovery, when family obligations eventually called him home to Texas, that the years away had prepared him to embrace his native land as the fit subject matter for his writing. For anyone seeking the springs that fed John Graves best-loved books, this memoir of apprenticeship will be genuinely rewarding. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780292709720

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