Novelist Freed (The Servants’ Quarters), an English professor at UC Davis, wrestles with “the horror of being stuck where one lives” and, in opposition to that horror, her attachment to the comfort, intimacy and pride of home in this collection of personal essays that spans both decades and continents. The essays, all previously published, recount her childhood and adolescence in her native South Africa and her experiences as an exchange student and young bride in New York City, a visiting professor in Texas, and a long-time resident of Northern California, an inveterate traveler all the while. Wise, evocative and darkly humorous, Freed covers Disneyland, ecotourism, lovers, servants, her wariness of milestone-birthday celebrations and the accompanying “hysteria for public confession,” writers who are able to blossom in old age, and other topics. Particularly memorable are her essays about South Africa, as well as those about her upper-middle-class, mildly eccentric family’s place in it. This collection evokes different moods, different eras, and different places with an astute, frank, and pitch-perfect narrator. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 05/15/2017 Release date: 10/01/2017 Genre: Nonfiction
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