Wild Blueberries: Nuns, Rabbits & Discovery in Rural Michigan

Peter Damm (Author) Suzanne Anderson-Carey (Illustrator)
Available

Description

Great Lakes Great Reads Award Finalist. In this beautifully written and illustrated collection of generous, poignant and humorous stories, Peter Damm recalls the joys of fishing on a northern lake, the rigors and confusion of childhood, or feasting on blueberries in autumn. These vignettes of growing up in small town rural Michigan, and a closely observed portrait of mid-century America are not just pretty postcards. Damm's family experienced difficulty, alcoholism and loss, and he writes with a survivor's compassion. These are tales for all the senses, held in place by strands of memory alternately steel and gold.

"Peter Damm's memoir, Wild Blueberries, is a joy to read. What emerges is a lyrical, rich and complex account of growing up in rural Michigan. The story of his Catholic coming of age is skeptical in tone, at times amusing, and yet we see how a sheltering tradition can comfort and unify. I read Wild Blueberries in two sittings, held by its directness and simplicity. It was a pleasure to be in the hands of an intelligent and generous author." Leo Litwak--Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Jewish National Book Award and the 1990 O. Henry Awards 1st Prize

"In Wild Blueberries Peter Damm tenderly sketches out the delights and tribulations of a seemingly quiet Midwestern childhood. Wrestling with the riddles of his Catholic inheritance, we hear the questions of a smart, sensitive young man trying to puzzle out the mysteries of sin, sex, and spirit, and make sense of the adult world. There is a gentleness and humor to Damm's stories that invites the reader to reflect on their own journey to maturity." J. Ruth Gendler--Writer, artist, teacher. Author of The Book of Qualities, Changing Light and Notes on the Need for Beauty

"Peter Damm's stories about growing up in Michigan made me laugh aloud, cry, and occasionally wince when they hit too close to home. He infuses his stories with a deeply felt sense of place. The lakes and forests of his Michigan youth take on the presence of characters in his narrative. This is a lovely collection, well conceived and beautifully told. The clean economy of the language and its cadences possess a quality that is almost poetic. Wild Blueberries is a gem of a book." William Rodarmor--Award-winning journalist and translator

"Like a brisk and invigorating breeze or an oven-warmed dessert, Wild Blueberries reminded me of the best of a child's sensibility: daring mischief and a fabulous imagination, openness to sensual experience, commitment to understanding adult mysteries, sensitivity to siblings' and parents' suffering. This book is a carefully crafted, emotionally intelligent piece of literature. I literally treasured every page of Peter Damm's memoir. I shall keep it close by for rereading."

"What a beautiful and deeply moving book. From the first page to the last, I was captured by how these seemingly ordinary events of childhood and adulthood became transformed into extraordinary, magical tales of wonder and sometimes bittersweet loss. Written lovingly with a tender respect for the innocence of childhood and one's own coming of age, as well as a wry and wicked sense of humor, the book opened my heart and made me both laugh and well-up with tears. What a pure pleasure to read Wild Blueberries."

"Reading this book made me feel like I was sitting outside on a porch during a summer evening, listening to a master storyteller spin his yarns. You get caught up in the beauty, or the humor, or the poignancy, or the honesty of the stories. I was captivated by this book."

Product Details

Price
$14.95  $13.75
Publisher
O'Brien & Whitaker, Publishers
Publish Date
May 20, 2019
Pages
226
Dimensions
5.25 X 0.52 X 8.0 inches | 0.58 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780966843187
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Peter Damm's life has traveled varied tracks. He has studied with National Book Award winner Wright Morris, and with Guggenheim Fellow and National Jewish Book Award winner Leo Litwak in the Master's Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University. He has lived abroad and traveled widely in Europe, India, Bali, Mexico, and parts of the Middle East, Indonesia, Central and South America, and New Zealand. His book of poems, At The Water's Edge, chronicles a five-month journey in Bali, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
Suzanne Anderson-Carey opened her studio in 1986 and offers her clients nearly 20 years of experience - from initial strategic planning through design for print and digital media. Her clients represent a wide range of industries, including finance & banking, technology, B2B, retail, and the arts.

Reviews

"Peter Damm's memoir, Wild Blueberries, is a joy to read. What emerges is a lyrical, rich and complex account of growing up in rural Michigan. The story of his Catholic coming of age is skeptical in tone, at times amusing, and yet we see how a sheltering tradition can comfort and unify. I read Wild Blueberries in two sittings, held by its directness and simplicity. It was a pleasure to be in the hands of an intelligent and generous author."

Leo Litwak--Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Jewish National Book Award, and the 1990 O. Henry Awards 1st Prize, Author of Waiting For The News, To The Hanging Gardens

"In Wild Blueberries Peter Damm tenderly sketches out the delights and tribulations of a seemingly quiet Midwestern childhood. Wrestling with the riddles of his Catholic inheritance, we hear the questions of a smart, sensitive young man trying to puzzle out the mysteries of sin, sex, and spirit, and make sense of the adult world. There is a gentleness and humor to Damm's stories that invites the reader to reflect on his or her own journey to maturity."

J. Ruth Gendler--Writer, artist, teacher. Author of The Book of Qualities, Changing Light, Notes On The Need For Beauty

"Peter Damm's stories about growing up in Michigan made me laugh aloud, cry, and occasionally wince when they hit too close to home. He infuses his stories with a deeply felt sense of place. The lakes and forests of his Michigan youth take on the presence of characters in his narrative. This is a lovely collection of stories, well conceived and beautifully told. The clean economy of the language and its cadences possess a quality that is almost poetic. Wild Blueberries is a gem of a book."

William Rodarmor--Award-winning journalist, Translator of The Last King of the Jews, The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles, Diasporas, The Book of Time trilogy

"Once Wild Blueberries is between bound covers, I will wear this book out to my heart's content: keep it on my bedside table and dog-ear my favorite pages. In my work over the years, I have read at least 1,500 manuscripts. Only a handful have affected me in this way, in terms of the quality of the writing. I like the unaffected narrator who shares his search for an assembled, integrated version of the past, and conveys so clearly the idea that what counts here is the truth."

Susan Harper--Writer, longtime book editor and university Creative Writing instructor