Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

Overview

As one savage war ends, another begins, just as savage - and this time endless. Fifty years after World War II, Gary Paulsen paints a self-portrait of a young boy drawn helplessly into the vortex of that war. His testimony to its horrors, to an early and traumatic exposure to sex, and to the wreckage of his family life spares neither himself nor his audience. Told with the startling frankness and candor of a young boy, Eastern Sun, Winter Moon will shock, outrage, and, ultimately, give readers a larger ...
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Overview

As one savage war ends, another begins, just as savage - and this time endless. Fifty years after World War II, Gary Paulsen paints a self-portrait of a young boy drawn helplessly into the vortex of that war. His testimony to its horrors, to an early and traumatic exposure to sex, and to the wreckage of his family life spares neither himself nor his audience. Told with the startling frankness and candor of a young boy, Eastern Sun, Winter Moon will shock, outrage, and, ultimately, give readers a larger understanding of war, family, and desire.
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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151272600
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/15/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • 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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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2001

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    I read this book in about 1 week and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was one of the best books I've ever read. I recommended it to everyone! Historical, Suspensful, Dramatic, and lots of Action!!! Altogether - GREAT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    This is a great book!!

    This book is a great!! I recommend it to everyone I know. I would not suggest this book for a child because, it has some in depth sexual parts and alot of curse words. Besides that, this is a wonderful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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