A Wider World: Portraits in an Adolescence

Kate Simon, Author HarperCollins Publishers $14.45 (186p) ISBN 978-0-06-015526-1
A sequel to Bronx Primitive: Portraits in a Childhood, Simon's memoir is as image-rich and revealing as her distinguished travel books about Paris, London, etc. The author vivifies the people who figured in her life as a teenager: a disapproving father she escaped by means of low-paying jobs during the Depression; her spunky mother, an advocate of women's rights; radical intellectuals who encouraged her love of the arts. There is a great deal about Simon's sexual relations and the amatory experiences of friends, and about lesbian professors during her years at Hunter College. There are details on the author's living with a man, an almost unheard of arrangement during the 1930s. For the most part, this is the story of an eager young woman trying on various personalities by affecting outre costumes and airs until she arrived, almost imperceptibly, at ""a second birth, after a long, erratic labor'' during adolescence. In the moving, frequently funny events frankly detailed, readers discover the self-described ``bright fantasist and loonywanderer'' and understand why she was not quite lost in the mature woman. (February 26)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-06-091379-3
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