I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

eBook - 2013
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"The events of a single episode of Howard Norman's superb memoir are both on the edge of chaos and gathered superbly into coherent meaning . . . A wise, riskily written, beautiful book." -- Michael Ondaatje

Howard Norman's spellbinding memoir begins with a portrait, both harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer working in a bookmobile, in the shadow of a grifter father and under the erotic tutelage of his brother's girlfriend. His life story continues in places as far-flung as the Arctic, where he spends part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales--including the story of a soapstone carver turned into a goose whose migration-time lament is "I hate to leave this beautiful place"--and in his beloved Point Reyes, California, as a student of birds. Years later, in Washington, D.C., an act of deeply felt violence occurs in the form of a murder-suicide when Norman and his wife loan their home to a poet and her young son. In Norman's hands, life's arresting strangeness is made into a profound, creative, and redemptive story.

"Uses the tight focus of geography to describe five unsettling periods of his life, each separated by time and subtle shifts in his narrative voice . . . The originality of his telling here is as surprising as ever." -- Washington Post

"These stories almost seem like tall tales themselves, but Norman renders them with a journalistic attention to detail. Amidst these bizarre experiences, he finds solace through the places he's lived and their quirky inhabitants, human and avian." -- The New Yorker
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
ISBN: 9780547724775
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Jun 23, 2015

Memoir/autobiography/collection of essays from an excellent fiction writer. This is a pretty personal collection, and there are some tough times in Norman's life. The title of the book reflects a recurring theme in his life, and ultimately describes his family home which was the site of a murder/suicide of a housesitting acquaintance.
Interesting and easy reading.
Norman's fiction is built around his love for birds and the Inuit people, and also worth reading. Start with "The Bird Artist".

ChristchurchLib Sep 17, 2013

"Novelist and memoirist Howard Norman reminisces on the unusual people he's encountered and situations where he's found himself, detailing each episode in autobiographical essays that evoke strange, sometimes mystical events, humorous conversations, and even a murder-suicide. In the background are always the healing grace of life in the wilderness and the power of words to produce and maintain balance." September 2013 Biography and Memoir http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=678915


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