By Howard Norman
Howard Norman’s spellbinding memoir starts off with a portrait, either harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer time operating in a bookmobile, within the shadow of a grifter father and below the erotic tutelage of his brother’s girlfriend.
His existence tale maintains in locations as far-flung because the Arctic, the place he spends a part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales—including the tale of a soapstone carver changed into a goose whose migration-time lament is “I hate to go away this gorgeous place”—and in his cherished aspect Reyes, California, as a scholar of birds.
Years later, in Washington, D.C., an act of deeply felt violence happens within the type of a murder-suicide while Norman and his spouse personal loan their domestic to a poet and her younger son. In Norman’s arms, life’s arresting strangeness is made right into a profound, inventive, and redemptive story.
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Extra resources for I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place
Going over the pass at Cloud-Croft, we unpacked five hundred pounds of equipment; I sat on it while C. took the trailer over the hump and then came back for me and the load. At Pagosa Springs we were stopped by hills too slippery with mud and rain—and we just put up and waited until they dried. But these adventures have not meant danger. They have, at worst, meant discomfort, delay, a lot of hot work for C. (he always manages to get himself out of the fixes he gets into), long dusty waits for me, irregular hours of sleeping and eating.
I know that’s the way you live, and must live. ” She did make plans: to work, to see her family and her friends, to enjoy the outdoors, to nourish her inner self. From the earliest diary entries here, it is clear that her interior existence was as rich as her outward, active life. While not willing to withdraw from the world or from her family for too long—she had five children to raise and, even with the household help available to her, she was most often the person in charge—she sought to establish a measure of solitude within her daily routine.
I am grateful for that. One would always die with things unfinished. Always. You must live so that people understand, and trust in their forgiveness. Forgiveness—mercy seems to me the most beautiful thing on earth, perhaps because it is unearthly, and the touch of God in us: the miracle of mercy, the unexpected, the arms of the prodigal son’s father, the ravens bringing food in the night, the cup running over. Dr. A. ” I laughed. “If it hurts, say so,” etc.! How very perceptive he is! How well he knows me.