cover image Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

Gary Paulsen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $22.95 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-15-127260-0

Paulsen's notable adult trade debut, Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass , and 16 award-winning YA novels precede this gripping memoir of a tumultuous childhood. ``My mother and I spent the war years in Chicago,'' he begins, explaining that after his birth in 1939 his father left the home to serve as a member of Patton's staff. The unglossed and indelible accounts that follow center on Paulsen's pretty, tough mother. As a toddler he watched her slay a man who had tried to molest him; later, he was all too aware of her sexual indulgences. He was seven when they sailed aboard a troop ship for Manila to reunite with his father. The voyage, however, occasioned still more horrors. With the helpless crew, he watched as passengers from a downed plane were eaten or torn apart by sharks, a scene he details here in all its brutality. In the Philippines, he was to undergo newly shattering experiences, which he relates with candor and feeling. Author tour. (Mar.)