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 ...
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.
New. This item is printed on demand. "A lovely memoir of young manhood, Europe, the aftermath of war, and the search for craft, by an urbane stylist who found, in his excellent prose, the poise that he was seeking."--Larry McMurtry"I know of no other book ab.
New. Book is Brand New in Excellent Condition! ! Hardcover with Dust Jacket. Exactly As Shown in Picture. 235 pages else As Product Details. 'Myself and Strangers: A Memoir of Apprenticeship (Hardcover)'. ISBN # 1400042224. Ship with Signature Delivery Confirmation. Fast Shipping, Reliable Service, Customer Satisfaction and Money Back Guraranteed! ! Thank You! !
John Graves has a writing style, developed over a couple of decades of self-discovery, that is so lyrical and true and honest that the reader is left with the feeling he has read a classic.
As an author friend of mine said, he felt sad that he had never written nor would he ever write, anything as well as that old Texan.
Don't wait to re-discover John Graves.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-04-12 Writer Graves (Hard Scrabble; Texas Heartland; etc.) burned his journal after extracting valuable excerpts, and these passages frame this thought-provoking work. At first, the incidents feel random and scattered, until readers piece them together as a tapestry that contributed to Graves's literary maturity. More than most authors' autobiographical books, this one demonstrates that style and subject matter aren't acquired overnight, but slowly evolve through experience. Graves left his native Texas to travel through Europe, then spent long periods of time in Spain. His writing is lean and pared-down, avoiding melodrama even when Graves describes a grenade exploding during WWII combat and leaving him blind in one eye. He talks of his early job teaching English at the University of Texas, "a basically miserable, overworked, underpaid period," and covers his first, failed marriage, then goes on to introduce various friends and lovers. The book's title is sometimes frustratingly apt, because many of these strangers pass through in too-brief anecdotes. Despite abbreviated characterizations, Graves is a master of visual detail, and his journey unfolds with the picturesque clarity of a film. Writers will recognize what he calls "the writing disease... a permanent affliction," and cheer when the disappointment of A Speckled Horse is followed by the outstanding Goodbye to a River. By the time Graves returns home to stay with his father, stricken with esophageal cancer, and embraces the birthplace he left behind, readers will be moved to acquaint (or reacquaint) themselves with his other books and articles. 18 photos. (May 11) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.