I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

Howard Norman (Author)
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Description

"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

Product Details

Price
$15.95
Publisher
Mariner Books
Publish Date
May 06, 2014
Pages
194
Dimensions
5.35 X 0.54 X 7.93 inches | 0.36 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780544317161
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

HOWARD NORMAN is the author of six novels, including the National Book Award nominees The Bird Artist and The Northern Lights. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman is the recipient of a Lannan Award in fiction, and he teaches at the University of Maryland.