cover image The Men in My Life and Other More or Less True Recollections of Kinship

The Men in My Life and Other More or Less True Recollections of Kinship

James D. Houston, Author Creative Arts Book Company $14.95 (163p) ISBN 978-0-88739-021-0

In 12 loosely connected chapters, a San Franciscoborn novelist (The Californians recalls men who strongly affected his life: his Uncle Jay from Texas, who hoped that Houston would become an All-American football player at Abilene Christian College; his father Dudley, a would-be guitarist who couldn't stand his son's musical attempts; his ""dangerous'' Uncle Anderson, whose fighting cock destroyed Dudley's laying hens. Houston also offers memories of his own experiences, including a glimpse of Count Basie in decline, an encounter with a German truck driver who picked him up when he was hitchhiking in Sweden and his delivery of a nuclear-bomb cartridge to a fighter plane during a 1958 crisis that might have led to war. The memoir's most impressive chapter also is its most repulsive: an account of a hazing Houston endured upon joining a college fraternity. (August 2)