Flight from Innocence (P)

Judson Jerome, Author University of Arkansas Press $16 (296p) ISBN 978-1-55728-153-1
This memoir from poet, playwright and Writer's Digest poetry columnist Jerome, cast in a Southwestern setting during the Depression and Dust Bowl eras, conjures up the energetic decades from his infancy to incipient manhood. A primary goal is his wish to make sense of family relations, particularly where his geologist father, an alcoholic who came to alienate his wife, is concerned--``trying to remember what it was they had and where it all went wrong, just when the quality of my relationship with him turned from bittersweet to sour.'' Largely nostalgic, the volume is entertainingly rich in details and anecdotes (including accounts of Jerome's childhood sexual experiences), leaving readers with a finely drawn portrait of a remarkable young man--cocky, disarmingly innocent, with an intuitive gift for yarn-spinning and drama that manifests itself in the poems tucked cleverly into the chronicle. Throughout, the author charms us with stories and spares us philosophizing, only rarely allowing a direct glimpse of the accomplished poet he was to become. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Hardcover - 296 pages - 978-1-55728-152-4
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