Hearts & Times: The Literature of Memory: Oral Histories

Ross Talarico, Author Kairos Press $18 (175p) ISBN 978-0-89733-382-5
Talarico, a poet in Rochester, N.Y., here seeks to distill a literary essence from first-person histories he collected from Americans representing a wide range of geographical and social backgrounds. The verses of these transcribed autobiographical memories, each preceded by a prose summary, typically concern poignant incidents, an important decision in the subject's life, or often a never-before-revealed romantic episode. The ``memory project,'' Talarico explains, is part of the citizens' writing group programs he has organized to foster creative self-expression among children and elderly alike. Although Talarico often incorporates a verbatim phrase from the subjects' accounts presented to the author or group, the sophistication of his verses tends to overshadow the emotions of the men and women who experienced them. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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