Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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In this memoir of a World War II childhood, Paulsen paints a haunting self-portrait of a young boy drawn helplessly into the physical and emotional violence of the adult world. “An indelible account...hallmarked by Paulsen’s sinewy writing” (Kirkus Reviews).

Overview


In this memoir of a World War II childhood, Paulsen paints a haunting self-portrait of a young boy drawn helplessly into the physical and emotional violence of the adult world. “An indelible account...hallmarked by Paulsen’s sinewy writing” (Kirkus Reviews).

Editorial Reviews

Ilene Cooper
Paulsen is best known for his young adult fiction, survival stories mainly. Now he tells one of his own. A young boy during World War II, Paulsen was seven before he met his father, who was off fighting. The intervening years were spent with his mother--a kind, good, but lonely woman who frequently sought the company of men, much to Paulsen's unease. Life changed radically for the boy when he and his mother joined his father in the Philippines. Everything was new: the surroundings, his family, even the air felt different. But the change was not necessarily for the better. Alcohol ran his parents' lives, and young Gary was left in the hands of servants. The male servant led him into danger, and the female servant introduced him to sex. Paulsen's writing style is elemental and matter-of-fact, and its simplicity draws readers in. The ingenuous tone is probably a necessity considering the horrors being described: a plane crashing into the ocean, its passengers providing a feast for the sharks; Paulsen's visit to a cave where "body rats" as big as dogs scurry over what used to be people. We take the author at his word as he chronicles this cavalcade of horrors, yet one aspect of his approach gives pause: he seems to remember every single thing that happened to him between the ages of four and nine. All writers, particularly autobiographers, must be allowed license where the nuances of memory are concerned, but Paulsen's seeming ability to recall even the smallest of details eventually becomes an intrusion, making us question where memory stops and imagination begins. Still, this is powerful stuff, a life story so vividly told that you feel like you've watched it happen, rather than just read about it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151272600
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/15/1993
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.89(d)

Meet the Author

GARY PAULSEN has written nearly two hundred books for young people, including the Newbery Honor Books Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He divides his time between a home in New Mexico and a boat on the Pacific Ocean.

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