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by Harry Crews

eBook Childhood: The Biography of a Place download ISBN: 0060109327
Author: Harry Crews
Publisher: Harper & Row; 1st edition (September 1, 1978)
Language: English
Pages: 171
ePub: 1166 kb
Fb2: 1547 kb
Rating: 4.6
Other formats: azw lit txt rtf
Category: Biography

The most indelible scene in American literary memoir, for this reader at any rate, occurs about two-thirds of the way into Harry Crews’s A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (1978).

The most indelible scene in American literary memoir, for this reader at any rate, occurs about two-thirds of the way into Harry Crews’s A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (1978). He’s describing hog-killing season in southern Georgia, where he grew up not far from the Okefenokee Swamp. Neighbors have come to help Crews’s impoverished family put a year’s worth of meat in their smokehouse

A Childhood is the unforgettable memoir of Harry Crews' earliest years, a sharply remembered portrait of. .A Childhood makes it more difficult. It raises almost to a level of heroism these people who seem of a different century

A Childhood is the unforgettable memoir of Harry Crews' earliest years, a sharply remembered portrait of the people. It raises almost to a level of heroism these people who seem of a different century. A Childhood is not about a forgotten America, it is about a part of America that has rarely, except in books like this, been properly discovered. A Childhood is the best introduction to his work. It explains so much of where Crews was coming from in his blood-tinted fiction. This memoir has a foot in another world, a weird, old Depression-era America.

Crews wrote in A Childhood: The Biography of a Place, "Nearly everybody I knew had something missing . Crews graduated from the University of Florida in English, and eventually went on to receive a graduate degree of education.

Crews wrote in A Childhood: The Biography of a Place, "Nearly everybody I knew had something missing, a finger cut off, a toe split, and ear half-chewed away, an eye clouded with blindness from a glancing fence staple. And if they didn’t have something missing, they were carrying scars from barbed wire, or knives, or fishhooks. These experiences later influenced the freakish characters he wrote about, although he did not like to use the term "freak" to describe them.

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Crew's A Childhood: Biography of a Place is not a novel, nor is it a history, biography, autobiography, or memoir in any traditional sense, rather it seems to be all these quilted together

Crew's A Childhood: Biography of a Place is not a novel, nor is it a history, biography, autobiography, or memoir in any traditional sense, rather it seems to be all these quilted together.

In the opening pages, author Harry Crews offers his readers one reason why he started writing this book - it.What he's put together here, he says, is "the biography of a childhood which necessarily is the biography of a place, a way of life gone forever out of this world.

In the opening pages, author Harry Crews offers his readers one reason why he started writing this book - it was because, as he says, "I have never been certain of who I a. He goes on to say that he's "slipped into and out of identities as easily as other people slip into and out of their clothes;" that by the "third or fourth tape" of interviews he's done, he's noticed that his voice would "become almost indistinguishable from the voice of the person" with whom he'd been speaking.

Crews, Harry, 1935-2012. Crews, Harry, 1935-2012, Novelists, American, Large type books. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Tracey Gutierres on November 25, 2013. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Harry Crews on Stories. Harry Crews Live The Mean Fiddler 2. 9. The Enthusiast, 1981 Two By Crews, 1984

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At once shocking and elegiac, heartrending and comical, A Childhood not only recalls the transforming events of Crews's youth but conveys his growing sense of self in a world "in which survival depended on raw courage, a courage born out of desperation and sustained by a lack of alternatives. Read full description.

In 1978, Crews published A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. A Childhood chronicles the horrors of his upbringing, the traumas of his early adolescence, and the attempts of an older Crews to reconcile, as an adult, his past: I thought if I wrote all that stuff down, in as great a detail as I possibly could, talking to as many people as I could and reliving it, it would be cathartic. Considering that before A Childhood, Crews had published eight books in eight years, and except for the publication of his non-fiction, it would be several years until Crews published his next novel, attesting, perhaps, to the intensity and demands of that singular endeavor.

Born the son of a Georgia sharecropper and raised during the Depression, Crews recreates the world of his youth with tales of his friends and relatives, some amusing, some violent and tragic
Comments: (7)
Modred
I received an excellent recommendation on this book, from Annie Dillard. I had written her to express my admiration for her moving memoir An American Childhood, concerning her upbringing in Pittsburgh during the Eisenhower `50's. She responded, with thanks, and made a singular recommendation: another memoir of childhood, this one, by Harry Crews. In terms of childhood experiences, they are poles apart. Crews' was raised, dirt poor as the expression has it, in Bacon County, deep rural southeast Georgia, during the Depression. Dillard's was a middle class upbringing, during the post-World War II prosperity years.

Crews is still with us, so the events that he so evocatively describes, have occurred in the span of one lifetime. He grew up in a one room sharecropper's cabin. In the era where agriculture is dominated by multinationals, it is useful to recall that "sharecropping," that is, farming someone else's land for a percentage of the take, was one of the most fundamental principles that permitted grave inequalities in income. Crews prose is earthy and unpretentious, and he has a keen ear for the patois of rural Georgia. Despite, or is rather because of the poverty, there was a strong sense of family and the community which he aptly depicts.

The scene that I most vividly recall is when the children were playing "crack the whip." In this era of endless electronic distractions for kids, does the game still exist? Each child hold hands, the leader makes a sudden turn, and the centripetal force throws the last child off. In Crews' case, it was a bright, cold February, 1941, when there was much joy since they were slaughtering hogs, and knew lots of meat would be available. In the process, a large trough of scalding water is set up, to facilitate the removal of the hair and bristles. "Crack the whip" threw Crews into the trough, one of those childhood accidents that are too often fatal. The author obviously survived. He describes how burns were treated, ultimately at home, long before the worries of will the health insurance pay.

"Did you git your commodity?" Crews explains that he has subsequently learned several other definitions for the word "commodity": "...but in my secret heart I'll always know what commodity means: `free food that comes on a truck.'" Crews was in the Marines during the Korean War, and returned to Bacon County in 1956. He looked up, and cursed the sun. He writes: "And in Bacon County you don't curse the sun or the rain or the land or God. They are all the same thing. To curse any of them is an ultimate blasphemy."

The University of Georgia Press did an outstanding job in publishing this work, utilizing the service of Michael McCurdy, a renowned illustrator and designer who provided drawings not only for the cover, but another around 20 throughout the text. Aspiring writers should take heart: he applied, and was denied a place as a student in the University of Florida's Creative Writing program. After the publication of some of his work, he was invited back as a professor for the program. 5-stars for this work.
Bladecliff
I don't read many books for personal enjoyment because I don't have time. My work requires a great deal of professional reading. However, I decided to try this book since the location, Bacon County, is very familiar to me and geographically close to where I currently live. Also, I have a personal interest in history. There are not many books written about childhood by individuals who grew up in south Georgia. I gave this book five stars because I could hardly put it down, so for me, this means it was highly engaging.Most of the time I get bored and cannot finish a book. A few years ago, I talked to my father who was born in 1928 about how pretty the girls from Bacon County were, and he said, yes that was true, but if anyone from Ware County tried to go out with one of them, those boys in Bacon County would beat their tails. After reading this book, I think that was probably true and that my dad was not exaggerating.
Dawncrusher
For anyone interested in the history of childhood in specific enclaves of white poverty, this is an eye-opening, literary memoir by an accomplished Southern novelist. Unlike Hillbilly Elegy, it does not have an axe to grind, but shows us things most of us have never thought about, and conveys a respect (with honesty) for the cultures of these enclaves.
Tebei
I bought this book used via Amazon’s sellers. Some have suggested that it is the best work of the author. It certainly is his words and memories of his early life. Harry Crews is a fascinating author especially for Southerners or those of us living in the south. Harry Crews is someone you should read or at least explore. This is just a super book that explains, in part, who he is. Love it!
Vudogal
One of America's best slices of memoir, Harry Crews' growing up in rural Georgia.
Also, I believe this is his best work.
Harry had such a troubled later life, that those who knew him would find this work compelling in his story, and his writing style.