The Boys of My Youth
by Jo Ann Beard
A startling collection of 13 connected personal narratives, capturing the collision of youthful longing and the hard intransigence of fate and time. ... Show synopsis A startling collection of 13 connected personal narratives, capturing the collision of youthful longing and the hard intransigence of fate and time. Jo Ann Beard's piece ' The fourth state of matter ' was chosen by Bill Buford to appear in the New Yorker's July 1996 special fiction issue. It is a tale based on Beard's own life and is an extroadinary example of the recent trend of non-fiction that reads like fiction. The pieces in this book range from a devastating account of a random shoot out at Beard's workplace to a stunning evocation of a drive through the Arizona desert to reminiscences of the boys of her youth to splitting up with her husband and thedeath of her mother. She writes with a unique perception about both the blandly domestic side of existence and the unexpected events in life over which we have no control. Her subjects are love, loss, abnadonment, th e importance of strong friendships with female friends, her betrayal by men, the landscapes of America, dogs...Jo Ann Beard has a remakable and original voice, and theseshort pieces of personal history are incredibly moving, funny and utterly compelling. They herald the arrival of a brilliant young writer.