New Moon

New Moon

4.8 7
by Richard Grossinger
     
 

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In this nonfiction novel, Richard Grossinger leads the reader into the world of one child in New York of the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning from his earliest memories, he traces a path through grade school at P.S. 6, "group" in Central Park, and high school at Horace Mann, while recalling Freudian psychoanalysis, his father's hotel in the Catskills (Grossinger's),… See more details below

Overview

In this nonfiction novel, Richard Grossinger leads the reader into the world of one child in New York of the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning from his earliest memories, he traces a path through grade school at P.S. 6, "group" in Central Park, and high school at Horace Mann, while recalling Freudian psychoanalysis, his father's hotel in the Catskills (Grossinger's), rebellion against Color War at Camp Chipinaw, and the mysterious world of tarot cards. In the second half of New Moon he traverses the stages of adolescence and young manhood: college, summer jobs, dating, marriage, graduate school, and the birth of a first child. Grossinger's tale ends with anthropology fieldwork among Maine fishermen. An epilogue then describes how events of the subsequent two decades led to the writing of this book. New Moon is the most classic sort of tale, a simple narrative of a writer's life, but one so compelling and sincere that readers will find themselves experiencing their own forgotten selves. Grossinger evokes old comics, day camp in Central Park, the Yankees of the 1950s, rock and roll, college fraternities, the Mets' and Jets' 1969 championship seasons, lobsterfishing wharves, and the Hopi Indians of the Third Mesa. Beneath this shifting, cinematic landscape he unveils layers of internal dialogue, dreams, self-witnessing, and personal myth-making, exposing the mechanism of an act we all do (whether publicly or silently) and rarely acknowledge - telling our own story to others and to ourselves. At the same time, he summons the mystery of life itself - the many trances through which consciousness travels in its journey toward self-awareness.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The grandson of famed Catskill resort owner Jennie Grossinger, the author (Planet Medicine) grew up in a Manhattan apartment with his mother, stepfather, brother and sister and attended private schools. In this affecting, gracefully written memoir, Grossinger details his unhappy childhood, which was punctuated by episodes of panic. His mother so resented his attachment to his father, Paul, with whom he lived at Grossinger's resort during school vacations, that she consistently behaved as though she hated Richard and publicly favored his brother. Observing his son's emotional distress, Paul arranged for Richard to undergo Freudian psychoanalysis, an experience that he describes here. The author skillfully evokes the world of '50s New York and Grossinger's Catskills as well as the counterculture of the '60s, which he was drawn to while attending Amherst College. (June)
Library Journal
In a memoir/novel that is an orgy of overwritten self-indulgence, Grossinger, scion of the late Catskills resort hotel clan, chronicles his privileged but often unhappy life from his earliest memories to marriage and fatherhood. Private schools, a Park Avenue apartment, summer camps, and swaggering through vacations at Grossingers never quite compensate for growing up feeling unloved by a mother with numerous problems of her own. Years of childhood psychoanalysis led Grossinger into an appreciation of Freudian psychology and a lifelong interest in cultural anthropology, which resulted in his starting a college teaching career, the literary magazine Io, and his own publishing company. Grossinger's accounts of his childhood and adolescence are notable for their detailedone might say overly detailedhonesty. Readers who navigated the 1950s and 1960s at approximately the same age (Grossinger was born in 1944) will find themselves nodding in agreement as memories of their own experiences flood back. For comprehensive collections only.Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
From the Publisher
"This is a strong, deeply moving book. I can't think of another example in which the details and particularities of childhood have been evoked so fully, with such painstaking care and precision."-Paul Auster, author"In this remarkably courageous and unsparing self-examination, Richard Grossinger explores the labyrinths of panic and fear that lay beneath the Paradise-like surface of a privileged childhood. Part magic, part myth, part dream, part prayer, New Moon is a liquid mirror that leads straight to the depths of the unconscious."-Mary Mackey, author

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883319441
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books
Publication date:
05/28/1996
Pages:
598
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Mary Mackey
... Part magic, part myth, part dream, part prayer, New Moon ... leads straight to the depths of the unconscious.
— Mary Mackey, (author of The Year the Horses Came , The Horses at the Gate , Season of Shadows and The Dear Dance of Eros )
Ishmael Reed
... Richard Grossinger writes a brilliant novel about a young man's passage into adulthood. New Moon is a departure for the Jewish American novel, as well - no longer obsessed with old world issues, and not finding solace in the illusion of an American Promise Land.
— Ishmael Reed (author of Flight to Canada and Shrove-Tide in New Orleans )
Lethem
A memoir of baseball, high school, and Jewish New York in the 50's. New Moon is also a portrait of a defenseless consciousness uncovering itself in the world simulatenously. The spellbinding tales and terrifying intimacy of Richard Grossinger's book puts it, for me, in the company of Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes and Annie Dillard's An American Childhood . An unforgettable reading experience.
— Jonathan Lethem, (author of Gun, with Ocassional Music and Amnesia Moon )

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