Category: Autobiography

Nov 15 2020

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I read Between the World and Me a lifetime ago, in early summer when it was strange to leave the neighborhood again after so many weeks of stillness. It is a hard book, not because of the difficulty of language or of its concepts, but because of the hardness of its subject: how to live …

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Sep 30 2020

The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story by Thao Lam

This powerful picture book is a wordless recreation via metaphor of the author’s family’s journey from Vietnam to Canada at the end of the Vietnam War. Only two at the time, Thao Lam remembers little of the events themselves, but has taken her mother’s story and crafted it beautifully for this children’s book. Working in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/30/the-paper-boat-a-refugee-story-by-thao-lam/

Aug 28 2020

The ChildThat Books Built by Francis Spufford

The Child that Books Built by Francis Spufford

The Child That Books Built, Francis Spufford’s second book, published six years after his first, raises a publishing question that I have long been interested in, but one that I suspect does not have any firm answer. How does an editor spot someone whose first book or two are strong but who is likely to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/28/the-child-that-books-built-by-francis-spufford/

Feb 11 2020

M Train by Patti Smith

M Train by Patti Smith

I loved Just Kids — it was one of my very favorite books of 2014 — so why didn’t M Train do much for me? Smith gives a bit of a warning in the book’s very first line, “It’s not so easy writing about nothing.” (p. 3) The speaker is a cowpoke who is in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/11/m-train-by-patti-smith/

Feb 02 2020

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney

So now I want to read all of Seamus Heaney’s poetry. I want to start with Death of a Naturalist and see what set him apart from other poets getting started. I want to follow him up North to see how he both did and did not address the Troubles of his native Northern Ireland. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/02/stepping-stones-interviews-with-seamus-heaney-by-dennis-odriscoll/

Nov 26 2019

More Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming Us,” the second part of Michelle Obama’s memoir tells how two very different people, two nearly polar opposite people in fact, came not only to love and cherish one another but to build a life and a partnership that would work from Chicago to the whole world. One of their first social functions together, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/26/more-becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Sep 21 2019

Schellingstrasse 48 by Walter Kolbenhoff

Schellingstrasse 48

For all that it is a Millionenstadt, Munich can also be quite a small town. Literary and artistic Munich even more so. Thus it’s not very surprising that in Schellingstrasse 48 (48 Schelling St.), Walter Kolbenhoff’s memoir of the Nazi era, POW internment in America, and early post-war Munich, other authors from the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s …

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Sep 20 2019

Lines Composed a Few Yards from Schlachtensee, With Apologies to W.W.

Five years have past; five summers, with the length Of five long winters! and again I read These pages, rolled from their printing-press With a rotary hum.—Once again Do I behold those last and polished drafts That many a wild scene describe, Acts the more connected to themes And th’ arguments of the plays. The …

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Jun 23 2019

Off to the Wabe

Dublin 2019

Perhaps to gyre and gimble. Back in mid-July. In the meantime, I have become a supporting member of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. I’m gutted that I won’t be able to attend in person, but what can ya do? I had an amazing time at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, and enjoyed being a Hugo voter …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/23/off-to-the-wabe/

Jun 19 2019

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming really is that good. Here’s a lengthy excerpt from the beginning. “There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to …

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