Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America

Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America

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by Carolyn See, University of California Press
     
 

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In this bittersweet and beautifully written memoir, Carolyn See embarks on nothing less than a reevaluation of the American Dream. Although it features a clan in which dysfunction was something of a family tradition, Dreaming is no victim's story. With a wry humor and not a trace of self-pity, See writes of fights and breakups and hard times, but also of

Overview


In this bittersweet and beautifully written memoir, Carolyn See embarks on nothing less than a reevaluation of the American Dream. Although it features a clan in which dysfunction was something of a family tradition, Dreaming is no victim's story. With a wry humor and not a trace of self-pity, See writes of fights and breakups and hard times, but also of celebration and optimism in the face of adversity. The story of See's family speaks for the countless people who reached for the shining American vision, found it eluded their grasp, and then tried to make what they had glitter as best they could.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Award-winning novelist (Golden Days; Making History) and book critic See has a pungent, earthily feminine style that has never been put to better use than in this saga of her clamorous, perpetually inebriated family. Daughter of a hard-drinking, charming show-business hanger-on and an equally hard-drinking hellion of a mother, See also went through two chaotic marriages, countless gallons of tequila and white wine and enough mind-altering substances to knock her sideways for most of a decade before settling down, with two miraculously surviving and equable daughters and her elderly English professor companion, to become the quirkily admirable writer she is today. Her sister Rose, enmeshed for years in a life of petty crime, drug-dealing and appalling men, was not so lucky. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, all seemed somehow to be disappointed at what American (mostly Californian) life had to offer, and retreated into bottles, needles and pills. It all makes for wonderfully lively reading, but See's thesis that this is life for much of America's aspiring underclass doesn't quite ring true (perhaps it's simply that a preponderance of these goofily hope-addicted people wind up in California). And in the midst of all See's hard-headed, courageous and humorous observation, it is jarring to come across a paean to some of the more banal and outr of New Age gurus. What is lacking in the book, despite its many anecdotal pleasures and galloping readability, is any sense of a cultural context to Americans beyond a search for ways to feel better about themselves. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Without self-pity, novelist (Golden Days, LJ 9/15/86), English professor (UCLA), and book critic See here offers a sobering account of drug abuse in her family.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520204829
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
05/05/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
372
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author


Carolyn See is the author of five novels. She has a Ph.D in American literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is an Adjunct Professor of English. Her awards include the Robert Kirsch Body of Work Award (1993) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction.

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Dreaming - Hard Luck and Good Times in America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow