Mapping Norwood: An Irish-American Memoir

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More About This Textbook

Overview

"As the title indicates, this memoir is an act of map making, of plotting out overlapping territoriesûtopographical, temporal, and psychological. Centered on family life in a Massachusetts town from the 1920s to the 1960s, the author's investigation extends outward to include the Boston area from colonial times to the recent past, encounters with Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and with Harvard College, the American Civil War, and Ireland and Germany in the nineteenth century." "Charles Fanning re-creates the landscape of childhood and adolescence in a place and time both ordinary and rich with possibility. He was born and raised in Norwood, Massachusetts, twelve miles outside of Boston, where Yankee and Irish cultures bumped against each other. The narrative traces his personal growth, shaped by family, school, baseball, radio drama, and art. He was the first in his family to attend college, and the book ends with his undergraduate experience at Harvard, class of 1964. Along with this coming-of-age story, the book features forays back in time, including chapters on each of Fanning's parents and historical excavations and meditations on three ancestors." ""Mapping Norwood is a classic American storyûIrish-American at its core, but embracing a complex saga of place and identity. This is not simply the autobiography of Charles Fanning, the pioneering scholar of Irish-American literature, but the story of a place and its people, all brought into vivid and dramatic focus. Fanning's formidable scholarly gifts, extraordinary depth of knowledge, and enviable narrative talent all combine to make this book a fascinating synthesis of 'those startling connections with the past, the encircling loops that ensnare and connect us to family and cultural history.'"ûTerence Winch, author of That Special Place: New World Irish Stories" "In this well-crafted book, Charles Fanning adds his own voice to those he identified in his critically acclaimed The Irish Voice. In addition to mapping his journey from boyhood, he carefully and sympathetically retrieves the stories of his Irish and Irish American forebears."ûMaureen O'rourke Murphy, coauthor of An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558498105
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,327,024
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

1 Place Lore of Norwood 1

2 My Father's Chapter 35

3 Young Winslow Radcliff 81

4 Mapping Monaghan 111

5 My Mother's Chapter 142

6 Ars Brevis 180

7 A Prelude 219

8 A Thousand Days at Harvard 270

Acknowledgments 327

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