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From Our House: A Memoir

Martin, Lee

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ISBN 10: 0525945466 / ISBN 13: 9780525945468
Verlag: Dutton Adult, 2000
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Softcover
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0525945466 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches From Publishers Weekly Relentlessly honest, Martin's account of growing up with an abusive parent is wise and healing. In 1956, when the author was a year old, his father lost both hands in a mechanical corn-picker on their Illinois farm. That tragic accident transformed Roy Martin into a bitter man who harbored a deep, corrosive rage that he vented on his son in sadistic beatings. Generous and friendly with neighbors and relatives, Roy was a strict and hypercritical parent. Though father and son enjoyed small pleasures together, Martin remained timid and fearful that he would never measure up, and he desperately tried to love and connect with the father whom he frequently despised. He walked a tightrope between his father's brutality and the abiding compassion of his soft-spoken, gentle mother, a schoolteacher who "lacked the courage to confront my father's rage or to escape it." While Martin never calls his mother an enabler or his father an abuser, by age 16, years of family dysfunction had turned him into a shoplifter, burglar and arsonist, putting him close to "becoming ruined beyond return." Martin, whose story collection The Least You Need to Know (winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize for short fiction) explored troubled father-son relationships, taps directly into his own psychic pain in this understated memoir. Both his parents are now dead, yet this moving family album, suffused with forgiveness and reconciliation, binds up the wounds. (June) FYI: Martin teaches creative writing at the University of North Texas and edits the American Literary Review. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal The author of a book of short stories (The Least You Need To Know), Martin has written a memoir to read slowly and savor. He is born to an older couple. His father has hooks instead of hands owing to a farm accident, and his elementary-school teacher mother has trouble disciplining her students and soon loses her job in their rural community. They move to a more urban locale so that she can continue to teach and bring in money but eventually return to the area of their farm and families. Martin's father feels shame and rage over losing his hands, and Martin, who lacks the athletic and mechanical skills his father once possessed, is embarrassed by his own and his parents' physical shortcomings. Over the course of the memoir, Martin shows how he and his father learn to overcome their shame and control their rage. The honest and straightforward description of their relationship and their obvious affection for each other completely involve the reader. Highly recommended for all libraries. -Gina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences, Philadelphia Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers MAD00018-UP

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: From Our House: A Memoir

Verlag: Dutton Adult

Erscheinungsdatum: 2000

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: fine

Über diesen Titel


"Beautifully written improvisations that make up American life," hailed Lorrie Moore upon the publication of Lee Martin's award-winning story collection The Least You Need to Know. Now, Martin's stirring memoir From Our House is also garnering acclaim for its candid and uncomplaining look at a painful but ultimately redemptive coming-of-age.

While Lee Martin was still a baby, his father--once a robust, generous man--lost both hands in a farming accident. Embittered and hardened by the accident, Roy Martin lost his sense of self-worth, his dignity, and more important his faith in God. Lee grew up to know his father only as a harsh, angry man. A sensitive, awkward child, who was unable to perform many of the tasks on the farm his father could no longer do, Lee felt like a constant disappointment. So began a lifelong struggle between father and son, two men as different as night and day.

"Lee Martin has written so clearly and so beautifully about fathers and sons: their complex rivalry and affection, their frightening potential for violence against one another, [and] underneath it all the painfully deep, strong current of real love."--Reeve Lindbergh, author of Under a Wing

"In his unsentimental yet compassionate depiction of his father . . .Lee Martin has created a portrait that lingers in the mind right along with the most enduring characters in literature."--Marly Swick, author of The Evening News

About the Author:

Lee Martin is the award-winning author of the story collection The Least You Need to Know. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Texas, where he edits the American Literary Review.

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