This is one of the finest books I've read in years. Every paragraph is poetic, lyrical, and pulls me along. I'm sure I'll read it again.
This quote, the way it rolls and tumbles until in the last line he knocks me off my feet, it's just too much:
I’d grown up in the country, run from it for most of my life, and now wanted to live nowhere else. Between ages nineteen and fifty-three, I traveled relentlessly, living and working in New York, City, Boston, Paris, Florida, Iowa, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Kentucky, California, and Mississippi. In my free time I visited other places. I’d slept in every state except North Dakota and Delaware and still hoped to get there.
What began as a desire to see the other side of the nearest hill at home had shifted to travel as a habitual way of life. If things didn’t work out, I moved on. I knew how to arrive in a new town, get a job, find a cheap room, and furnish it with junk from the street. I liked living without history, nothing held against me. My brother once asked what I was running from. I told him I wasn’t, I was running toward, only I didn’t know toward what. He nodded and said, “You’ll always be afraid of him, you know.” (164-165)**
And this about his father's writing process which has me in awe:
My father’s writing process was simple—he got an idea, brainstormed a few notes, then wrote the first chapter. Next he developed an outline from one to ten pages long. He followed the outline carefully, relying on it to dictate the narrative. He composed his first drafts longhand, wearing rubber thimbles on finger and thumb. Writing with a felt-tip pen, he produced thirty or forty pages in a sitting. Upon completion of a full draft, he transcribed the material with his typewriter, revising as he went. Most writers get more words per page as they go from longhand to a typed manuscript, but not Dad. His handwriting was small and he used abbreviations. His first drafts were often the same length as the final ones. (203)
If you need something to read, I keep a list of every book I've read this year on my About Me page along with the albums I've purchased. And please, let me know what you think I should read next and why.