Growing Up Mostly Normal In The Middle Of Nowhere

( 2 )

Overview

This memoir stands out as a beautifully written account

of a mostly happy, mostly normal, fully real life at once

both ordinary and extraordinary. Sheirer explores intensely

personal experiences and relationships with humor, surprise,

...

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Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere: A Memoir

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Overview

This memoir stands out as a beautifully written account

of a mostly happy, mostly normal, fully real life at once

both ordinary and extraordinary. Sheirer explores intensely

personal experiences and relationships with humor, surprise,

awe, suspense, and deep insight. With the depth of a memoir

and the flow of a novel, Sheirer chronicles how his simple youth

of farm, sports, school, nature, and family led him to an unlikely

adulthood as an author and college professor.

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Editorial Reviews

Patricia F. D'Ascoli
"The kind of introspective journey back in time that Sheirer makes shows us that we can ultimately come to a better understanding of ourselves. In Sheirer's words, "Even though I did my best for years to pretend my odd upbringing didn't have anything to do with my adulthood, I realize now that the boyhood I had helped form the man I am. . .My childhood was mostly happy and mostly normal, and I've mostly come to understand its wonders as well as its limits." And in the scheme of things, that kind of insight into the dichotomy of life is quite an accomplishment indeed."
Publisher Connecticut Muse
Timothy Gager
"I recommend this book, in the same way the author was motivated to write it:
It is a wonderful peaceful, escape to the middle of nowhere, mentally bringing the reader in front of a cozy fire or under a mountain of quilts."
Founding co-editor, Heat City Literary Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974892115
  • Publisher: Foremost Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 0.48 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    Great Memoir

    John Sheirer's reminiscences of growing up 'mostly normal' take us to his family farm at the base of Wills Mountain, near the village of Madley in Bedford County, southwest central Pennsylvania. He '...wasn't kidnapped as a child, never abused, abandoned, beaten, or sold to the highest bidder. My parents didn't lock me in the basement. The cults never got hold of me - not counting a pretty wacky Bible camp...No president denied that I was his love child. No aliens abducted me...' He did, however, grow up with a joyful, sometimes poignant series of childhood experiences that many of us can identify with. First loves and schoolyard alliances (and misalliances) basketball practice and graduation, relationships with parents and siblings, grandmothers and uncles are woven together into chapters with themes that resonate into our own lives. The book begins with a Prologue that is followed by fifteen chapters: Where I'm Going, Wearing a Mask, Coming to See Me, Learning to Swear, Between the Eyes, New Milennium, Lord Land, Last Words, First Hoop, Tarpaper Goddess, Ceremony, Thing, Choice, Ghosts, and Both, followed by an Epilogue. My favorite chapter is Lord Land, where the author finally climbs to the quarry at the top of Wills Mountain, a forbidden childhood place, and sees his family cabin far below. The quarry is 'a place that had been a symbol of where lived - not just a house, but a family and way of life on our small valley farm that somehow made me unique...' We discover that growing up mostly normal can transform a seemingly ordinary childhood into a source of rich memories that makes one wish they had grown up in the middle of nowhere, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2005

    Funny and Beautiful Memoir

    John Sheirer's memoir of returning home after many years away is a joy. He really shows how a somewhat sheltered and odd farm youth actually helped him develop into a down-to-earth, caring, college professor with strong values. Some sections had me laughing out loud while others brought me close to tears. As you might expect from someone who teaches memoir writing, it's exceptionally well written and structured better than any memoir I've ever read. This is not a famous writer, but anyone who likes to read thoughtful, reflective, passionate, humorous, loving, and readable writing will really appreciate this book.

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