A Hole in the World / Edition 10

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When he first published A Hole in the World in 1990, Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Rhodes helped launch and legitimate a decade-long publishing phenomenon—the memoir of abused childhood. In this tenth anniversary edition, Rhodes offers new reflections on the abuse he and his older brother endured at the hands of their terrorizing stepmother and negligent father. He also describes readers' powerful and moving responses to his book, considers his changing sentiments as the years have passed, and provides additional details on his brother Stanley, who remains the author's true hero in this moving memoir.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The deepest significance of Rhodes's prose is its spring-fed clarity. He writes: 'My unconscious early prose-it was largely unconscious in those days because I thought the only way I could write was to get drunk first-screens a predicament I struggled desperately to steady at [school] and continue to work forty years later to resolve: how to calm and to rescue the lurching monster of overwhelming, intractable, involuntary rage that my mother's suicide, my father's neglect and my stepmother's violence installed in me.' To judge from the simplicity with which he has woven his memories into narrative, and from it constructed his identity, the monster of rage has been laid to rest."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"Unlike too much of what is offered for public edification (and titillation) in this our age of confession, A Hole in the World comes straight from the heart with no apparent self-serving motives. Richard Rhodes is here to tell us three things, all of them important and useful. The first is that it is dangerous and self-deluding to sentimentalize a myth of idyllic American childhood. The second is that a child caught in a hell not of his own making must devise strategies for survival and must cry out for help; there are others, outsiders, ready to provide it. The third—and to those caught in their own torment the most important—is that it is possible to escape, to rise above hurt and rage, to live a life that is useful and good. A timely contribution to the literature of a problem we are only beginning to understand."—Jonathan

Yardley, Washington Post.

"A Hole in the World must be read through tears—the reader's and the writer's—and it must be acknowledged as powerful a bearing of witness, as dark a story of cruelty, as redemptive a proclamation of the soul's strength as we have been given in a very long time. Nothing by the prolific and talented Rhodes prepares us for this shattering testimony."—Frederick Busch, Los Angeles Times

Library Journal
Rhodes, author of the highly acclaimed Making of the Atomic Bomb ( LJ 3/1/87) and Farm ( LJ 10/1/89, ``Best Books of 1989,'' p. 59), begins the story of his boyhood with his mother's suicide, which occurred when he was 13 months old. This act touched every aspect of his life from that day forward. After several itinerant years, his father finally landed Rhodes and his brother Stanley in the house of a ghastly woman who was to become Rhodes's stepmother. Living a tortured existence, Rhodes and his brother were systematically starved, sent out of the house for 12-hour stretches, and deprived of any kind of emotional warmth, except what they could provide for each other. Eventually they were rescued and sent to live on a farm, where they began to heal. This book is a testament to the incredible resiliency of the human spirit. Highly recommended.-- Randy Dykhuis, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700610389
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 4/26/2000
  • Edition description: Anniversary
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

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