The State of California: Growing Up Foreign in the Backyards of Eden

Ted Pejovich, Author Knopf Publishing Group $16.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-394-56863-8
In conveying the dislocation felt by his large family after leaving Montenegro to settle in the promised land of California, the author of this elegiac memoir employs a meditative, free-flowing style that is not without its drawbacks. As communicated in colloquially serpentine sentences, Pejovich's bilingual heritage is intriguing initially but eventually becomes tiresome: his euphoric litanies of daily details defeat their purpose, generalizing instead of heightening the impact of experience. Growing up betwixt the romantically remembered past and the undeniable present, living among the immigrant farmers of the Santa Clara Valley, was a heady experience for a boy--and seems to have gone to the writer's head. Yet, despite excesses in style, Pejovich, an actor in New York, succeeds in evoking his family's exuberant loyalty to two worlds. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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